Biological & pharmaceutical bulletin

Nano-mechanical reinforcement in drug-resistant ovarian cancer cells.

PMID 25757920


The mechanical properties of cells are considered promising biomarkers for the early detection of cancer and the testing of drug efficacy against it. Nevertheless, generalized correlations between drug resistance and the nano-mechanical properties of cancer cells are yet to be defined due to the lack of necessary studies. In this study, we conducted atomic force microscopy (AFM)-based nano-mechanical measurements of cisplatin-sensitive (A2780) and cisplatin-resistant (A2780cis) ovarian cancer cells. The difference in the efficacy of cisplatin between A2780 and A2780cis was confirmed in the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium (MTS) assay. We observed that the cisplatin-resistant ovarian cancer cells were more motile than cisplatin-sensitive cells based on the results of the wound closure experiment, and the AFM experiments showed that drug resistance induced nano-mechanical stiffening of the ovarian cancer cells. Increased mechanical stiffness caused by cisplatin resistance was consistent with the confocal microscopy images showing more distinct actin stress fibers in A2780cis than in A2780 cells. The down regulation of vinculin implicated the actin-driven elongation as a major motile mode for A2780cis cells. Our results consistently indicated that the acquisition of drug resistance in ovarian cancer cells induces an extensive reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton, which governs the cellular mechanical properties, motility, and possibly intracellular drug transportation.