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Lookup NU author(s): Dr David Hill
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The tumor microenvironment is characterized by cancer cell subpopulations with heterogeneous cell cycle profiles. For example, hypoxic tumor zones contain clusters of cancer cells that arrest in G(1) phase. It is conceivable that neoplastic cells exhibit differential drug sensitivity based on their residence in specific cell cycle phases. In this study, we used two-dimensional and organotypic melanoma culture models in combination with fluorescent cell cycle indicators to investigate the effects of cell cycle phases on clinically used drugs. We demonstrate that G(1)-arrested melanoma cells, irrespective of the underlying cause mediating G(1) arrest, are resistant to apoptosis induced by the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib or the alkylating agent temozolomide. In contrast, G(1)-arrested cells were more sensitive to mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway inhibitor-induced cell death. Of clinical relevance, pretreatment of melanoma cells with a mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway inhibitor, which induced G(1) arrest, resulted in resistance to temozolomide or bortezomib. On the other hand, pretreatment with temozolomide, which induced G(2) arrest, did not result in resistance to mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway inhibitors. In summary, we established a model to study the effects of the cell cycle on drug sensitivity. Cell cycle phase-specific drug resistance is an escape mechanism of melanoma cells that has implications on the choice and timing of drug combination therapies.
Author(s): Beaumont KA, Hill DS, Daignault SM, Lui GYL, Sharp DM, Gabrielli B, Weninger W, Haass NK
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Journal of Investigative Dermatology
Print publication date: 01/07/2016
Online publication date: 10/03/2016
Acceptance date: 25/02/2016
ISSN (print): 0022-202X
ISSN (electronic): 1523-1747
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