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ZNF93 Increases Resistance to ET-743 (Trabectedin; Yondelis®) and PM00104 (Zalypsis®) in Human Cancer Cell Lines



ET-743 (trabectedin, Yondelis) and PM00104 (Zalypsis) are marine derived compounds that have antitumor activity. ET-743 and PM00104 exposure over sustained periods of treatment will result in the development of drug resistance, but the mechanisms which lead to resistance are not yet understood.

Methodology/principal findings

Human chondrosarcoma cell lines resistant to ET-743 (CS-1/ER) or PM00104 (CS-1/PR) were established in this study. The CS-1/ER and CS-1/PR exhibited cross resistance to cisplatin and methotrexate but not to doxorubicin. Human Affymetrix Gene Chip arrays were used to examine relative gene expression in these cell lines. We found that a large number of genes have altered expression levels in CS-1/ER and CS-1/PR when compared to the parental cell line. 595 CS-1/ER and 498 CS-1/PR genes were identified as overexpressing; 856 CS-1/ER and 874 CS-1/PR transcripts were identified as underexpressing. Three zinc finger protein (ZNF) genes were on the top 10 overexpressed genes list. These genes have not been previously associated with drug resistance in tumor cells. Differential expressions of ZNF93 and ZNF43 genes were confirmed in both CS-1/ER and CS-1/PR resistant cell lines by real-time RT-PCR. ZNF93 was overexpressed in two ET-743 resistant Ewing sarcoma cell lines as well as in a cisplatin resistant ovarian cancer cell line, but was not overexpressed in paclitaxel resistant cell lines. ZNF93 knockdown by siRNA in CS-1/ER and CS-1/PR caused increased sensitivity for ET-743, PM00104, and cisplatin. Furthermore, ZNF93 transfected CS-1 cells are relatively resistant to ET-743, PM00104 and cisplatin.


This study suggests that zinc finger proteins, and ZNF93 in particular, are involved in resistance to ET-743 and PM00104.

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