Chemotherapy drugs have limited efficacy in breast cancer due to multidrug resistance generated by cancer cells against anticancer drugs. In this study, we developed a novel derivative, 2, 3, 5, 4'-tetrahydroxystilbene (TG1) by modifying 2, 3, 5, 4'-tetrahydroxystilbene-2-Obeta- D-glucoside (THSG). In-vivo zebrafish embryo tests revealed that TG1 showed low toxicity. The equitoxic combination of DOX or DTX with TG1 in MCF-7/Adr reduced the IC50 of DOX or DTX, and the combination index (CI) showed strong synergistic effects in the 1:3 molar ratio of DTX: TG1 and 1:5 molar ratio of DOX: TG1. Moreover, fluorescence images confirmed the cellular uptake of DOX when combined with TG1 in MCF-7/Adr. Western blotting analysis indicated downregulation of p-glycoprotein (P-gp) after MCF-7/Adr treated with TG1. In conclusion, the combined therapy of DTX or DOX and TG1 increases drug efficacy via suppressing the p-glycoprotein efflux pump. These results suggest that TG1 may have potential use for breast cancer patients, especially those with multidrug resistance.
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