Paclitaxel-resistant human ovarian cancer cells undergo c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase-mediated apoptosis in response to noscapine
Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
We have previously discovered the opium alkaloid noscapine as a microtubule interacting agent that binds to tubulin, alters the dynamics of microtubule assembly, and arrests mammalian cells at mitosis (Ye, K., Ke, Y., Keshava, N., Shanks, J., Kapp, J. A., Tekmal, R. R., Petros, J., and Joshi, H. C. (1998) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 95, 1601-1606; Ye, K., Zhou, J., Landen, J. W., Bradbury, E. M., and Joshi, H. C. (2001) J. Biol. Chem. 276, 46697-46700; Zhou, J., Panda, D., Landen, J. W., Wilson, L., and Joshi, H. C. (2002) J. Biol. Chem. 277, 17200-17208). Here we show that noscapine does not compete with paclitaxel for tubulin binding and can efficiently inhibit the proliferation of both paclitaxel-sensitive and paclitaxel-resistant human ovarian carcinoma cells (i.e. the parental cell line 1A9 and two derivative cell lines, 1A9PTX10 and 1A9PTX22, which harbor beta-tubulin mutations that impair paclitaxel-tubulin interaction (Giannakakou, P., Sackett, D. L., Kang, Y. K., Zhan, Z., Buters, J. T., Fojo, T., and Poruchynsky, M. S. (1997) J. Biol. Chem. 272, 17118-17125). Strikingly, these cells undergo apoptotic death upon noscapine treatment, accompanied by activation of the c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinases (JNK). Furthermore, inhibition of JNK activity by treatment with antisense oligonucleotide or transfection with dominant-negative JNK blocks noscapine-induced apoptosis. These findings thus indicate a great potential for noscapine in the treatment of paclitaxel-resistant human cancers. In addition, our results suggest that the JNK pathway plays an essential role in microtubule inhibitor-induced apoptosis.