CD133 and DNA-PK regulate MDR1 via the PI3K- or Akt-NF-κB pathway in multidrug-resistant glioblastoma cells in vitro

G. Xi*, E. Hayes, R. Lewis, S. Ichi, B. Mania-Farnell, K. Shim, T. Takao, E. Allender, C. S. Mayanil, T. Tomita

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Chemotherapy is an adjuvant treatment for glioblastomas, however, chemotherapy remains palliative because of the development of multidrug resistance (MDR). Following prolonged chemotherapy, MDR protein 1 (MDR1) and CD133 increase in recurrent glioblastomas. CD133 positive (CD133+) glioma cancer stem-like cells (GCSCs) markedly promote drug resistance and exhibit increased DNA damage repair capability; thus they have a key role in determining tumor chemosensitivity. Although CD133, DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK), and MDR1 are elevated in CD133+ GCSCs, the relationship among these molecules has not been elucidated. In this study, MDR glioblastoma cell lines were created in response to prolonged doxorubicin chemotherapy. CD133, DNA-PK and MDR1 were markedly elevated in these cells. CD133 and DNA-PK may increase MDR1 via the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K)-Akt signal pathway. PI3K downstream targets Akt and nuclear factor (NF)-κB, which interacts with the MDR1 promoter, were also elevated in these cells. Downregulation of CD133 and DNA-PK by small interfering RNA, or inhibition of PI3K or Akt, decreased Akt, NF-κB and MDR1 expression. The results indicate that CD133 and DNA-PK regulate MDR1 through the PI3K- or Akt-NF-κB signal pathway. Consequently, a novel chemotherapeutic regimen targeting CD133 and DNA-PK in combination with traditional protocols may increase chemotherapeutic efficacy and improve prognosis for individuals who present with glioblastoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-250
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 14 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research


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