Background: 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) is the most commonly used drug in colon cancer therapy. However, despite impressive clinical responses initially, development of drug resistance to 5-Fu in human tumor cells is the primary cause of failure of chemotherapy. In this study, we established a 5-Fu-resistant human colon cancer cell line for comparative chemosensitivity studies. Materials and
Methods: Real time PCR and Western blotting were used to determine gene expression levels. Cell viability was measured by MTT assay. Glucose uptake was assess using an Amplex Red Glucose/Glucose Oxidase assay kit.
Results: We found that 5-Fu resistance was associated with the overexpression of Glut1 in colon cancer cells. 5-Fu treatment at low toxic concentration induced Glut1expression. At the same time, upregulation of Glut1 was detected in 5-Fu resistant cells when compared with their parental cells. Importantly, inhibition of Glut1 by a specific inhibitor, WZB117, significantly increased the sensitivity of 5-Fu resistant cells to the drug.
Conclusions: This study provides novel information for the futuredevelopment of targeted therapies for the treatment of chemo-resistant colon cancer patients. In particular it demonstrated that Glut1 inhibitors such as WZB117 may be considered an additional treatment options for patients with 5-Fu resistant colon cancers.