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Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.)

Tetraploidization increases sensitivity to Aurora B kinase inhibition.


PMID 22722494

Abstract

Aurora kinases are overexpressed in many cancers and are targets for anticancer drugs. The yeast homolog of Aurora B kinase, IPL1, was found to be a ploidy-specific lethality gene. Given that polyploidization is a common feature of many cancers, we hypothesized polyploidization also sensitizes mammalian cells to inhibition of Aurora kinases. Using two models of apparent diploid vs. tetraploid cell lines (one based on the hepatocellular carcinoma cell line Hep3B and another on untransformed mouse fibroblasts), we found that tetraploid cells were more sensitive to Aurora B inhibition than their diploid counterparts. Apoptosis could be induced in tetraploid cells by two different Aurora B inhibitors. Furthermore, tetraploid cells were sensitive to Aurora B inhibition but were not affected by Aurora A inhibition. Interestingly, the underlying mechanism was due to mitotic slippage and the subsequent excessive genome reduplication. In support of this, abolition of cytokinesis with dihydrocytochalasin B resulted in similar effects on tetraploid cells as Aurora B inhibition. These results indicate that inhibition of Aurora B or cytokinesis can promote apoptosis effectively in polyploid cancer cells.