Background: Breast cancer is the most common kind of cancer among women in the world. Despite
major cancer therapy successes in recent years, cancer cells usually develop mechanisms to survive chemotherapy-
induced cell death. Therefore, new strategies are needed to reverse cancer chemoresistance.
Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a recently-synthesized ferrocene derivative
named 1-ferrocenyl-3-(4-methylsulfonylphenyl)propen-1-one (FMSP) on cisplatin resistance in MCF-7 cells,
focusing on its inhibitory effects on Multi-Drug Resistance-1 (MDR-1) and inflammatory-related STAT3 pathway.
Methods: Cisplatin-resistant MCF-7 cells were developed and the effect of cisplatin and FMSP on cell viability
was examined by MTT assay. RT-PCR and Western blotting analyses were performed to assess the gene and
protein expression of MDR-1 as well as phosphorylation of JAK2 and STAT3.
Results: Overexpression of MDR1 as well as a marked increase in the level of phosphorylated STAT3 was
observed in cisplatin-resistant MCF-7 (MCF-7R) cells. FMSP successfully reduced the MCF-7R cell viability
and reversed both MDR1 expression and STAT3 phosphorylation status through which sensitivity of MCF-7R
cells to cisplatin treatment was regained.
Conclusion: Our results indicated that FMSP may be considered as a promising therapeutic agent for the prevention
and management of chemoresistance in breast cancer cells.