We investigated the effects of natural flavones, quercetin and morin, and their pentamethyl, pentaethyl, pentapropyl, pentabutyl and pentaallyl ethers, on the function of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) assessed by an increase in the uptake of [3H]vincristine by human myelogenous leukemia (K562) cells and adriamycin-resistant human myelogenous leukemia (K562/ADM) cells. Pentamethyl, pentaethyl, pentapropyl and pentaallyl ethers of morin and quercetin (20 μM) all increased the uptake of [3H]vincristine by K562/ADM cells, while quercetin, morin and their pentabutyl ethers had no effect. Pentamethylquercetin, pentaallylquercetin and pentaethylmorin remarkably increased the uptake of [3H]vincristine by K562/ADM cells by 10.6, 10.8 and 14.4-fold, respectively. These inhibitory potencies for P-gp were more potent than typical P-gp inhibitors, cyclosporine A and verapamil. Taking into consideration that these flavonoid derivatives possess antitumor promoter activity, they may become candidates of effective multidrug resistance-reversing agents in cancer chemotherapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas