Characterising changes in adhesion and enzyme activity related to drug resistance in colon cancer cells
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Metastatic colorectal cancer is often fatal, and drug resistance to chemotherapeutic agents is one of the primary contributing factors to this lethality. Drug resistance arises from exposure to chemotherapies, and it can be mediated through a variety of mechanisms. One of these mechanisms is alteration of enzymes within the cancer cells to affect the processing or removal of the drug. Carboxylesterase is an example of an enzyme that converts irinotecan, a drug used in metastatic colorectal cancer treatments, into the active metabolite SN-38. Carboxylesterase enzymes are found in high quantities in both the liver and intestinal cells. The presence of carboxylesterase in intestinal and liver cells is an important consideration in the processing of colorectal cancer treatments. Glutathione S-transferase is another enzyme that has been implicated in drug resistance because of its ability to conjugate reduced glutathione to xenobiotic substances, facilitating their removal. Additionally, drug resistance can affect the behaviours of cells. Drug-resistant cells can exhibit changes in their motility and aggressiveness compared to drug-sensitive cells. In this study I investigated cellular behavioural changes in SN-38-resistant colon cancer cells compared to their SN-38-sensitive counterparts. In addition to behavioural changes, I also sought to determine if elevations in carboxylesterase and glutathione S-transferase enzymes were contributing to the drug resistance in these colon cancer cells.
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Heather Dekker (2018). Characterising changes in adhesion and enzyme activity related to drug resistance in colon cancer cells. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/14278