Laboratoire de Biologie moléculaire du cancer (LBMC)

The development of multidrug resistance (MDR) to chemotherapy remains a major challenge in the treatment of cancer. Resistance exists against every effective anticancer drug and can develop by numerous mechanisms that lead to a state of MDR in tumor cells, in which cells become resistant to several drugs in addition to the initial compound administered.

ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters are key players in these mechanisms.  Beside their role in drug efflux, there is an increasing amount of evidence that these transporters are involved in tumor biology.

ABCB5 is a member of the ABC transporter superfamily that is predominantly expressed in pigment-producing cells. Previous studies have suggested that it is a marker of melanoma-initiating cells, and is linked to the development of low-level multidrug resistance in cancer. Despite these reports, ABCB5 is little characterized.

Our ongoing projects aim to:

  • Unravel the pathway regulating the expression of ABCB5
  • Understand the physiological role of ABCB5 in vivo, using Abcb5-deficient mice
  • Study the role of ABCB5 as a marker of melanoma-initiating cells using knock-in mice
  • Study the role of ABCB5 in melanoma biology