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Cancer Res. 2009 Oct 15;69(20):8035-42. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-1224. Epub 2009 Sep 29.

Overexpression of kinesins mediates docetaxel resistance in breast cancer cells.

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  • 1Department of Genetics and Pathology, Case Western Reserve University, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.


Resistance to chemotherapy remains a major barrier to the successful treatment of cancer. To understand mechanisms underlying docetaxel resistance in breast cancer, we used an insertional mutagenesis strategy to identify proteins whose overexpression confers resistance. A strong promoter was inserted approximately randomly into the genomes of tumor-derived breast cancer cells, using a novel lentiviral vector. We isolated a docetaxel-resistant clone in which the level of the kinesin KIFC3 was elevated. When KIFC3 or the additional kinesins KIFC1, KIF1A, or KIF5A were overexpressed in the breast cancer cell lines MDA-MB231 and MDA-MB 468, the cells became more resistant to docetaxel. The binding of kinesins to microtubules opposes the stabilizing effect of docetaxel that prevents cytokinesis and leads to apoptosis. Our finding that kinesins can mediate docetaxel resistance might lead to novel therapeutic approaches in which kinesin inhibitors are paired with taxanes.

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