ABCB1 Overexpression Is a key initiator of resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitors in CML cell lines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)


The tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) imatinib has resulted in excellent responses in the majority of Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML) patients; however, resistance is observed in 20- 30% of patients. More recently, resistance to the second generation TKIs, nilotinib and dasatinib, has also been observed albeit at a lower incidence. ABCB1 has previously been implicated in TKI export and its overexpression linked to TKI resistance. In this study the dynamics of nilotinib resistance was studied in CML cell lines with particular focus on ABCB1 expression levels during development of resistance. Results revealed ABCB1 overexpression is likely an important initiator of nilotinib resistance in vitro. ABCB1 overexpression was also observed in cell lines as an intermediate step during development of resistance to imatinib and dasatinib in vitro.We conclude that ABCB1 overexpression may provide an initial platform to facilitate development of additional mechanisms for resistance to TKIs. This provides a rationale for investigating this phenomenon in patients undergoing TKI therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0161470
JournalPloS one
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

Cite this