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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 7053451, 15 pages
Research Article

Long-Term Alteration of Reactive Oxygen Species Led to Multidrug Resistance in MCF-7 Cells

1Key Laboratory of Natural Medicine and Immune Engineering, Henan University, Kaifeng, China
2School of Pharmacy, Henan University, Kaifeng, China

Received 18 August 2016; Revised 25 October 2016; Accepted 6 November 2016

Academic Editor: Jacek Zielonka

Copyright © 2016 Juan Cen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play an important role in multidrug resistance (MDR). This study aimed to investigate the effects of long-term ROS alteration on MDR in MCF-7 cells and to explore its underlying mechanism. Our study showed both long-term treatments of H2O2 and glutathione (GSH) led to MDR with suppressed iROS levels in MCF-7 cells. Moreover, the MDR cells induced by 0.1 μM H2O2 treatment for 20 weeks (MCF-7/ROS cells) had a higher viability and proliferative ability than the control MCF-7 cells. MCF-7/ROS cells also showed higher activity or content of intracellular antioxidants like glutathione peroxidase (GPx), GSH, superoxide dismutase (SOD), and catalase (CAT). Importantly, MCF-7/ROS cells were characterized by overexpression of MDR-related protein 1 (MRP1) and P-glycoprotein (P-gp), as well as their regulators NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1α), and the activation of PI3K/Akt pathway in upstream. Moreover, several typical MDR mediators, including glutathione S-transferase-π (GST-π) and c-Myc and Protein Kinase Cα (PKCα), were also found to be upregulated in MCF-7/ROS cells. Collectively, our results suggest that ROS may be critical in the generation of MDR, which may provide new insights into understanding of mechanisms of MDR.