5-FU resistant colorectal cancer cells possess improved invasiveness and βIII-tubulin expression

Sviatlana Akalovich, Anna Portyanko, Anastasia Pundik, Artur Mezheyeuski, Tatyana Mikhailovna Doroshenko


Purpose: Elevated bIII-tubulin levels are associated with resistance to a broad spectrum of drugs in different carcinomas and are associated with poor prognosis of different epithelial cancers. 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) is a widely used standard drug in chemotherapeutic regimens for colorectal cancer treatment, although the resistance to 5-FU is a major obstacle to successful therapy. The aim of the study was to compare the invasive and adhesion properties and the expression levels of bIII-tubulin in a 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU)-resistant colorectal cancer (CRC) cell line HCT116 and parental cells.

Methods: The 5-FU-resistant cell line was established by continuous stepwise selection with increasing concentrations of 5-FU. Cell viability and properties were evaluated using MTT, adhesion and transwell invasion assays respectively. The expression of bIII-tubulin was revealed by immunoblot and immunofluorescence.

Results: The derivative line is 25-fold resistant to 5-FU and characterized by altered cell morphology, twice as many cells of the 5-FU-resistant line fail to adhere than is the case for the parental cell line and were characterized by enhanced invasiveness, accompanied by increased bIII-tubulin expression. In addition, we found that loss of bIII-tubulin expression was correlated with loss of 5-FU resistance.

Conclusion: Our results indicate that even though 5-FU does not target microtubules, there appears to be a correlation between bIII-tubulin expression and resistance to 5-FU and that this is particularly important with regard to invasiveness. These findings indicate a possible contribution of bIII-tubulin to 5-FU resistance in vivo. 


Colorectal cancer, 5-Fluorouracil, Chemoresistance, III-tubulin, Invasiveness


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14319/ijcto.61.8

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