Monoclonal Antibody to an External Epitope of the Human mdrl P-Glycoprotein

Robert J. Arceci, Kimberly Stieglitz, James Croop

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100 Scopus citations


A membrane glycoprotein, termed P-glycoprotein, has been shown to be responsible for cross-resistance to a broad range of structurally and functionally distinct cytotoxic agents. P-glycoprotein, encoded in humans by the mdrl gene, functions as an energy-dependent efflux pump to exclude these cytotoxic agents from the resistant cell. In order to study the phenomenon of multidrug resistance in both normal and neoplastic cells, we have generated a mouse monoclonal antibody directed to an external epitope of the human P-glycoprotein. This monoclonal antibody, 4E3, is an IgG2a class antibody which specifically recognizes the human mdrl P-glycoprotein but not the mdr3 gene product. The 4E3 monoclonal antibody immunoprecipitates both the glycosylated and nonglycosylated forms of P-glycoprotein under mild denaturation conditions. In addition, 4E3 can detect P-glycoprotein in immunocytochemical analysis of fixed tissue-cultured cells and in analysis of frozen sections of human tissue. Binding of the monoclonal antibody to multidrug-resistant cells does not significantly affect the intracellular accumulation or potentiate the cytotoxicity of daunomycin in multidrug-resistant cells. However, at high concentrations of antibody, 4E3 produces a mild potentiation of vinblastine and actinomycin cytotoxicity in multidrug-resistant cells. This monoclonal antibody will be useful both for analyzing P-glycoprotein expression in normal and neoplastic cells and for isolating live cells expressing the P-glycoprotein without significantly affecting the efflux functions of the transporter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310-317
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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