PURPOSE: To evaluate the effect of Haishengsu (HSS), a protein extract from Tegillarca granosa, on multidrug-resistance genes mdr1, BCR/ABL and sorcin in transplanted tumors.MATERIAL/METHODS: Mice were inoculated subcutaneously with a drug resistant leukemia cell line K562/ADM. Tumor-bearing animals were divided into control, adriamycin, HSS and combination therapy (adriamycin plus HSS) groups. Flow cytometry was used to detect apoptosis of tumor cells, and RT-PCR was used to evaluate the expression of mdr1, BCR/ABL and sorcin.RESULTS: The apoptosis rate in the high (71.8%), medium (72.3%) and low doses HSS group (72.4%) was higher than in control (1.2%, p<0.01), adriamycin (34.4%, p<0.05) or combination therapy group (46.4%, p<0.05). The mean optical density of mdr1, BCR/ABL and sorcin in HSS groups was lower than in control, adriamycin and combination therapy group (p<0.01). The optical density of the three genes in high HSS group was lower than in medium and low HSS group (p<0.01).CONCLUSIONS: Haishengsu promotes apoptosis of drug-resistant K562/ADM tumors in mice in a dose-dependent manner. The pro-apoptotic effect of Haishengsu may be related to a reduced expression of multidrug-resistance genes mdr1, BCR/ABL and sorcin.