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J Cell Biochem. 1998 Mar 15;68(4):472-83.

Taxol induces concomitant hyperphosphorylation and reorganization of vimentin intermediate filaments in 9L rat brain tumor cells.

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Department of Life Science, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan, Republic of China.


Taxol, a microtubule stabilizing agent, has been extensively investigated for its antitumor activity. The cytotoxic effect of taxol is generally attributed to its antimicrotubule activity and is believed to be cell cycle dependent. Herein, we report that taxol induces hyperphosphorylation and reorganization of the vimentin intermediate filament in 9L rat brain tumor cells, in concentration- and time-dependent manner. Phosphorylation of vimentin was maximum at 10(-6) M of taxol treatment for 8 h and diminished at higher (10(-5) M) concentration. Enhanced phosphorylation of vimentin was detectable at 2 h treatment with 10(-6) M taxol and was maximum after 12 h of treatment. Taxol-induced phosphorylation of vimentin was largely abolished in cells pretreated with staurosporine and bisindolymaleimide but was unaffected by H-89, KT-5926, SB203580, genistein, and olomoucine. Thus, protein kinase C may be involved in this process. Hyperphosphorylation of vimentin was accompanied by rounding up of cells as revealed by scanning electron microscopy. Moreover, there was a concomitant reorganization of the vimentin intermediate filament in the taxol-treated cells, whereas the microtubules and the actin microfilaments were less affected. Taken together, our data demonstrate that taxol induces hyperphosphorylation of vimentin with concomitant reorganization of the vimentin intermediate filament and that this process may be mediated via a protein kinase C signaling pathway.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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