ABCG2 and ABCB1 limit the efficacy of dasatinib in a PDGF-B-driven brainstem glioma model

Rajendar K. Mittapalli, Alexander H. Chung, Karen E. Parrish, Donna Crabtree, Kyle G. Halvorson, Guo Hu, William F. Elmquist, Oren J. Becher*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Dasatinib is a multikinase inhibitor in clinical trials for glioma, and thus far has failed to demonstrate significant efficacy. We investigated whether the ABC efflux transporters ABCG2 and ABCB1 expressed in the blood-brain barrier (BBB), are limiting the efficacy of dasatinib in the treatment of glioma using genetic and pharmacologic approaches. We utilized a genetic brainstem glioma mouse model driven by platelet-derived growth factor-B and p53 loss using abcg2/abcb1 wild-type (ABC WT) or abcg2/ abcb1 knockout mice (ABC KO). First, we observed that brainstem glioma tumor latency is significantly prolonged in ABC KO versus ABC WT mice (median survival of 47 vs. 34 days). Dasatinib treatment nearly doubles the survival of brainstem gliomabearing ABC KO mice (44 vs. 80 days). Elacridar, an ABCG2 and ABCB1 inhibitor, significantly increases the efficacy of dasatinib in brainstem glioma-bearing ABC WT mice (42 vs. 59 days). Pharmacokinetic analysis demonstrates that dasatinib delivery into the normal brain, but not into the tumor core, is significantly increased in ABC KO mice compared with ABC WT mice. Surprisingly, elacridar did not significantly increase dasatinib delivery into the normal brain or the tumor core of ABC WT mice. Next, we demonstrate that the tight junctions of the BBB of this model are compromised as assessed by tissue permeability to Texas Red dextran. Finally, elacridar increases the cytotoxicity of dasatinib independent of ABCG2 and ABCB1 expression in vitro. In conclusion, elacridar improves the efficacy of dasatinib in a brainstem glioma model without significantly increasing its delivery to the tumor core.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)819-829
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular cancer therapeutics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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