Combretastatin CA-4 and combretastatin derivative induce mitotic catastrophe dependent on spindle checkpoint and caspase-3 activation in non-small cell lung cancer cells

Ilio Vitale, Antonio Antoccia, Chiara Cenciarelli, Pasqualina Crateri, Stefania Meschini, Giuseppe Arancia, Claudio Pisano, Caterina Tanzarella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Combretastatin A-4 (CA-4), a natural stilbenoid isolated from Combretum caffrum, is a new vascular targeting agent (VTA) known for its antitumor activity due to its anti-tubulin properties. We investigated the molecular mechanisms leading to cell death in non-small cell lung cancer H460 cells induced by natural (CA-4) and synthetic stilbenoids (ST2151) structurally related to CA-4. We found that both compounds induced depolymerization and rearrangement of spindle microtubules, as well as an increasingly aberrant organization of metaphase chromosomes in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Prolonged exposition to ST2151 led cells to organize multiple sites of tubulin repolymerization, whereas tubulin repolymerization was observed only after CA-4 washout. H460 cells were arrested at a pro-metaphase stage, with condensed chromosomes and a triggered spindle assembly checkpoint, as evaluated by kinetochore localization of Bub1 and Mad1 antibodies. Persistent checkpoint activation led to mitochondrial membrane permeabilization (MMP) alterations, cytochrome c release, activation of caspase-9 and -3, PARP cleavage and DNA fragmentation. On the other hand, caspase-2, and -8 were not activated by the drug treatment. The ability of cells to reassemble tubulin in the presence of an activated checkpoint may be responsible for ST2151-induced multinucleation, a recognized sign of mitotic catastrophe. In conclusion, we believe that discovery of new agents able to trigger mitotic catastrophe cell death as a result of mitotic block and prolonged spindle checkpoint activation is particularly worthwhile, considering that tumor cells have a high proliferative rate and mitotic failure occurs irrespective of p53 status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-166
Number of pages12
JournalApoptosis
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007

Keywords

  • CA-4
  • Caspase-3
  • Mitotic catastrophe
  • Spindle assembly checkpoint
  • ST2151

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Cell Biology

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