Send to

Choose Destination
Oncogene. 2007 May 3;26(20):2902-13. Epub 2006 Nov 13.

Molecular profiling of docetaxel cytotoxicity in breast cancer cells: uncoupling of aberrant mitosis and apoptosis.

Author information

Breast and Gynaecological Cancer Group, Molecular Pathology Programme, Spanish National Cancer Centre (CNIO), Madrid, Spain.


Among microtubule-targeting agents, docetaxel has received recent interest owing to its good therapeutic index. Clinical trials have underlined its potential for the treatment of advanced breast cancer, although little is known about its molecular mode of action in this context. We characterized the molecular changes induced by docetaxel in two well-known human breast carcinoma cell lines. Two mechanisms of action according to drug concentration were suggested by a biphasic sensitivity curve, and were further validated by cell morphology, cell cycle and cell death changes. Two to four nanomolar docetaxel induced aberrant mitosis followed by late necrosis, and 100 nM docetaxel induced mitotic arrest followed by apoptosis. Passing through mitosis phase was a requirement for hypodiploidy to occur, as shown by functional studies in synchronized cells and by combining docetaxel with the proteasome inhibitor MG132. Transcriptional profiling showed differences according to cell line and docetaxel concentration, with cell cycle, cell death and structural genes commonly regulated in both cell lines. Although p53 targets were mainly induced with low concentration of drug in MCF7 cells, its relevance in the dual mechanism of docetaxel cytotoxicity was ruled out by using an isogenic shp53 cell line. Many of the genes shown in this study may contribute to the dual mechanism by which docetaxel inhibits the growth of breast cancer cells at different concentrations. These findings provide a basis for rationally enhancing docetaxel therapy, considering lower concentrations, and better drug combinations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center