The Na+/K+-ATPase is the Achilles Heel of multi-drug-resistant cancer cells

Tatjana Mijatovic, Ute Jungwirth, Petra Heffeter, Mir Ali Reza Hoda, Rita Dornetshuber, Robert Kiss, Walter Berger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (SciVal)


We recently reported that over-expressed Na+/K+-ATPase α subunits are new important anti-cancer targets. Cardiotonic steroids are the natural ligands of Na+/K+-ATPase and thus potentially potent anti-cancer agents with a novel mechanism of action. We report here that the hemi-synthetic cardenolide 19-hydroxy-2″oxovoruscharin is impressively active in cancer cells expressing diverse forms of multi-drug resistance (MDR) either conferred by the over-expression of selected drug-transporter proteins or induced by a range of chemotherapeutic agents. Together with the inability of tumor cells to acquire resistance to 19-hydroxy-2″oxovoruscharin, our data suggest that this novel compound could be especially applicable to notoriously drug-resistant cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-34
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Letters
Issue number1
Early online date31 Mar 2009
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sept 2009


  • 19-hydroxy-2″oxovoruscharin
  • Cardenolide
  • Multi-drug resistance (MDR)
  • Na/K-ATPase targeting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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