Influence of lysosomal sequestration on multidrug resistance in cancer cells

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Chemotherapy remains a primary treatment modality for various malignancies. However, resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs is a major obstacle to curative cancer therapy. Lysosomes are acidic organelles that participate in cellular digestion. However, there is rising interest in lysosomes because of their involvement with cancer. For example, extracellular secretion of lysosomal enzymes promote tumorigenesis; cytosolic leakage of lysosomal hydrolases promote apoptosis; and weak chemotherapeutic bases diffuse across the lysosomal membrane and become entrapped in lysosomes in their cationic state. Lysosomal drug sequestration lowers the cytotoxic potential of chemotherapeutics, reduces drug availability to sites of action, and contributes to cancer resistance. This review examines various mechanisms of lysosomal drug sequestration and their consequences on cancer multidrug resistance. Strategies for overcoming drug resistance by exploiting lysosomes as subcellular targets to reverse drug sequestration and drug resistance are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-42
Number of pages12
JournalCancer Drug Resistance
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019


  • Cancer
  • Chemotherapeutics
  • Exocytosis
  • Lysosomal sequestration
  • Lysosomes
  • Multidrug resistance
  • Permeability-glycoprotein


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