Purpose: Human tau is a highly dynamic, multifunctional protein expressed in different isoforms and conformers, known to modulate microtubule turnover. Tau oligomers are considered pathologic forms of the protein able to initiate specific protein accumulation diseases, called tauopathies. In our study, we investigated the potential association between autophagy and tau oligomers accumulation and its role in the response of prostate cancer cells to docetaxel. Methods: We evaluated in vitro the expression of tau oligomers in prostate cancer cell lines, PC3 and DU145, in presence of autophagy inhibitors and investigated the role of tau oligomers accumulation in resistance to docetaxel treatment. Results: Tau protein was basally expressed in prostate cancer lines as several monomeric and oligomeric forms. The pharmacologic inhibition of autophagy induced in cancer cells the accumulation of tau protein, with a prevalent expression of oligomeric forms. Immunofluorescence analysis of untreated cells revealed that tau was visible mainly in dividing cells where it was localized on the mitotic spindle. Inhibition of autophagy determined an evident upregulation of tau signal in dividing cells and the presence of aberrant monoastral mitotic spindles. The accumulation of tau oligomers was associated with DNA DSB and increased cytotoxic effect by docetaxel. Conclusions: Our data indicate that autophagy could exert a promoting role in cancer growth and during chemotherapy facilitating degradation of tau protein and thus blocking the antimitotic effect of accumulated tau oligomers. Thus, therapeutic strategies aimed at stimulating tau oligomers formation, such as autophagy inhibition, could be an effective adjuvant in cancer therapy.

Tau oligomers accumulation sensitizes prostate cancer cells to docetaxel treatment

Martellucci S.;Clementi L.;Sabetta S.;Muzi P.;Mattei V.;Bologna M.;Angelucci A.
2021

Abstract

Purpose: Human tau is a highly dynamic, multifunctional protein expressed in different isoforms and conformers, known to modulate microtubule turnover. Tau oligomers are considered pathologic forms of the protein able to initiate specific protein accumulation diseases, called tauopathies. In our study, we investigated the potential association between autophagy and tau oligomers accumulation and its role in the response of prostate cancer cells to docetaxel. Methods: We evaluated in vitro the expression of tau oligomers in prostate cancer cell lines, PC3 and DU145, in presence of autophagy inhibitors and investigated the role of tau oligomers accumulation in resistance to docetaxel treatment. Results: Tau protein was basally expressed in prostate cancer lines as several monomeric and oligomeric forms. The pharmacologic inhibition of autophagy induced in cancer cells the accumulation of tau protein, with a prevalent expression of oligomeric forms. Immunofluorescence analysis of untreated cells revealed that tau was visible mainly in dividing cells where it was localized on the mitotic spindle. Inhibition of autophagy determined an evident upregulation of tau signal in dividing cells and the presence of aberrant monoastral mitotic spindles. The accumulation of tau oligomers was associated with DNA DSB and increased cytotoxic effect by docetaxel. Conclusions: Our data indicate that autophagy could exert a promoting role in cancer growth and during chemotherapy facilitating degradation of tau protein and thus blocking the antimitotic effect of accumulated tau oligomers. Thus, therapeutic strategies aimed at stimulating tau oligomers formation, such as autophagy inhibition, could be an effective adjuvant in cancer therapy.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11697/176102
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