Cytogenetic and Molecular Characterization of Tumors in Nude Mice Derived from a Multidrug-resistant Human Leukemia Cell Line

Anna B. Hill, William T. Beck, Jeffrey M. Trent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


We have evaluated whether selection of a human tumor leukemic line for resistance to vinblastine (Velban; VLB) alters its tumorigenidty. To address this question, CEM and cem/vlb100 cells [which express the multiple drug-resistant (MDR) phenotype via amplification of the P-glycoprotein gene] were characterized by several techniques including chromosome banding, in situ hybridization, Southern blotting, RNA dot blotting, in ritro drug sensitivity, and tumorigenicity in nude mice. Analysis of the chromosome banding patterns of both drug-sensitive CEM cells and the MDR CEM/VLB100 cells revealed that the two lines differed primarily by the presence of a large metacentric marker chromosome associated with the acquisition of VLB resistance. In situ hybridization of a P-glycoprotein complementary DNA to metaphase chromosomes showed that the amplified P-glycoprotein genes in the cem/vlb100 cell line were localized to this large marker. Tumorigenicity of both the CEM and cem/vlb100 cell lines was measured after injection of 107 cells/nude mouse. The results showed that 4 of 4 drug-sensitive and 4 of 5 drug-resistant cell lines formed tumors in 5–10 wk. By comparison with the parental line, three of the four tumors arising from the cem/vlb100 line retained their drug-resistance properties as measured by vinblastine resistance in vitro and elevated P-glycoprotein mRNA expression associated with P-glycoprotein gene amplification. In addition, tumors retaining the MDR phenotype also retained the large metacentric marker chromosome. One tumor arising from cem/vlb100 reverted to the drug-sensitive phenotype, with a resultant decrease in P-glycoprotein mRNA expression and loss of P-glycoprotein gene amplification. This revertant was also missing the large metacentric marker present in all cells from the cem/vlb100 parent. Our experiments show that the acquisition of the MDR phenotype resulting from overexpression of P-glycoprotein in the plasma membrane does not effect the tumorigenicity of human CEM cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)393-398
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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