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Tubulin binding cofactor C (TBCC) suppresses tumor growth and enhances chemosensitivity in human breast cancer cells.

Abstract : BACKGROUND: Microtubules are considered major therapeutic targets in patients with breast cancer. In spite of their essential role in biological functions including cell motility, cell division and intracellular transport, microtubules have not yet been considered as critical actors influencing tumor cell aggressivity. To evaluate the impact of microtubule mass and dynamics on the phenotype and sensitivity of breast cancer cells, we have targeted tubulin binding cofactor C (TBCC), a crucial protein for the proper folding of alpha and beta tubulins into polymerization-competent tubulin heterodimers. METHODS: We developed variants of human breast cancer cells with increased content of TBCC. Analysis of proliferation, cell cycle distribution and mitotic durations were assayed to investigate the influence of TBCC on the cell phenotype. In vivo growth of tumors was monitored in mice xenografted with breast cancer cells. The microtubule dynamics and the different fractions of tubulins were studied by time-lapse microscopy and lysate fractionation, respectively. In vitro sensitivity to antimicrotubule agents was studied by flow cytometry. In vivo chemosensitivity was assayed by treatment of mice implanted with tumor cells. RESULTS: TBCC overexpression influenced tubulin fraction distribution, with higher content of nonpolymerizable tubulins and lower content of polymerizable dimers and microtubules. Microtubule dynamicity was reduced in cells overexpressing TBCC. Cell cycle distribution was altered in cells containing larger amounts of TBCC with higher percentage of cells in G2-M phase and lower percentage in S-phase, along with slower passage into mitosis. While increased content of TBCC had little effect on cell proliferation in vitro, we observed a significant delay in tumor growth with respect to controls when TBCC overexpressing cells were implanted as xenografts in vivo. TBCC overexpressing variants displayed enhanced sensitivity to antimicrotubule agents both in vitro and in xenografts. CONCLUSION: These results underline the essential role of fine tuned regulation of tubulin content in tumor cells and the major impact of dysregulation of tubulin dimer content on tumor cell phenotype and response to chemotherapy. A better understanding of how the microtubule cytoskeleton is dysregulated in cancer cells would greatly contribute to a better understanding of tumor cell biology and characterisation of resistant phenotypes.
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Rouba Hage-Sleiman, Stéphanie Herveau, Eva-Laure Matera, Jean-Fabien Laurier, Charles Dumontet. Tubulin binding cofactor C (TBCC) suppresses tumor growth and enhances chemosensitivity in human breast cancer cells.. BMC Cancer, BioMed Central, 2010, 10 (1), pp.135. ⟨10.1186/1471-2407-10-135⟩. ⟨inserm-00663760⟩



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