Mitotic slippage and expression of survivin are linked to differential sensitivity of human cancer cell-lines to the kinesin-5 inhibitor monastrol Academic Article uri icon


  • The mitotic Kinesin-5 motor proteins crosslink and slide apart antiparallel spindle microtubules, thus performing essential functions in mitotic spindle dynamics. Specific inhibition of their function by monastrol-like small molecules has been examined in clinical trials as anticancer treatment, with only partial success. Thus, strategies that improve the efficiency of monastrol-like anticancer drugs are required. In the current study, we examined the link between sensitivity to monastrol and occurrence of mitotic slippage in several human cell-lines. We found that the rank of sensitivity to monastrol, from most sensitive to least sensitive, is: AGS>HepG2>Lovo>Du145HT29. We show correlation between the sensitivity of a particular cell-line to monastrol and the tendency of the same cell-line to undergo mitotic slippage. We also found that in the monastrol resistant HT29 cells, prolonged monastrol treatments increase mRNA and protein levels of the chromosomal passenger protein survivin. In contrast, survivin levels are not increased by this treatment in the monastrol-sensitive AGS cells. We further show that over-expression of survivin in the monastrol-sensitive AGS cells reduces mitotic slippage and increases resistance to monastrol. Finally, we show that during short exposure to monastrol, Si RNA silencing of survivin expression reduces cell viability in both AGS and HT29 cells. Our data suggest that the efficiency of anti-cancer treatment with specific kinesin-5 inhibitors may be improved by modulation of expression levels of survivin. © 2015 Asraf et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

publication date

  • January 1, 2015