Reversal of multidrug resistance in cancer cells by Rhizoma Alismatis extract

David W F FONG*, C. Wang, G. Y. Zhu, C. H. Leung, M. S. Yang, H. Y. Cheung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Prolonged chemotherapy may lead to the selective proliferation of multidrug resistant (MDR) cancer cells. In MDR HepG2-DR and K562-DR cells that over-expressed P-glycoprotein (Pgp), the extract of the rhizomes of Alisma orientalis (Sam) Juzep. showed a synergistic growth inhibitory effect with cancer drugs that are Pgp substrates including actinomycin D, puromycin, paclitaxel, vinblastine and doxorubicin. At the same toxicity levels the herbal extract was more effective than verapamil, a standard Pgp inhibitor, in enhancing cellular doxorubicin accumulation and preventing the efflux of rhodamin-123 from the MDR cells. The extract restored the effect of vinblastine on the induction of G2/M arrest in MDR cells. Our data suggest that A. orientalis may contain components that are effective inhibitors of Pgp.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-165
Number of pages6
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 19 Feb 2007

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Complementary and alternative medicine

User-Defined Keywords

  • HepG2-DR cells
  • K562-DR cells
  • Multidrug resistance
  • P-glycoprotein
  • Rhizoma Alismatis


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