The retinoid 4-oxo-N-(4-hydroxyphenyl)retinamide (4-oxo-4-HPR), a metabolite of fenretinide (4-HPR) present in plasma of 4-HPR-treated patients, is very effective in inducing growth inhibition and apoptosis in several cancer cell lines. 4-Oxo-4-HPR and 4-HPR have different mechanisms of action because 4-oxo-4-HPR, unlike 4-HPR, causes marked cell accumulation in G2-M phase. Here, we investigated the molecular events involving 4-oxo-4-HPR - induced cell cycle perturbation in ovarian (A2780 and IGROV-1) and breast (T47D, estrogen receptor+ and BT-20, estrogen receptor-) cancer cells. 4-Oxo-4-HPR induced a delay of mitosis (with mitotic index increasing 5- to 6-fold in all cell lines) without progression beyond the anaphase, as shown by cyclin B1 expression. 4-Oxo-4-HPR induced multipolar spindle formation and phosphorylation of BUBR1, resulting in activation of the spindle checkpoint. Multipolar spindles were not due to impairment of pole-focusing process, loss of centrosome integrity, or modulation of the expression levels of molecules associated with spindle aberrations (Kif 1C, Kif 2A, Eg5, Tara, tankyrase-1, centra2 ctin, and TOGp). We show here that 4-oxo-4-HPR targets microtubules because, in treated cells, it interfered with the reassembly of cold-depolymerized spindle microtubules and decreased the polymerized tubulin fraction. In cell-free assays, 4-oxo-4-HPR inhibited tubulin polymerization (50% inhibition of microtubule assembly at 5.9 μmol/L), suggesting a direct molecular interaction with tubulin. In conclusion, by showing that 4-oxo-4-HPR causes mitotic arrest through antimicrotubule activities, we delineate a new molecular mechanism for a retinoid.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research