Resistance to discodermolide, a microtubule-stabilizing agent and senescence inducer, is 4E-BP1-dependent

Suzan K. Chao, Juan Lin, Jurriaan Brouwer-Visser, Amos B. Smith, Susan Band Horwitz, Hayley M. McDaid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Discodermolide is a microtubule-stabilizing agent that induces accelerated cell senescence. A discodermolide-resistant cell line, AD32, was generated from the human lung cancer cell line A549. We hypothesize that the major resistance mechanism in these cells is escape from accelerated senescence. AD32 cells have decreased levels of 4E-BP1 mRNA and protein, relative to the parental discodermolide-sensitive A549 cells. Lentiviral-mediated re-expression of wild-type 4E-BP1 in AD32 cells increased the proliferation rate and reverted resistance to discodermolide via restoration of discodermolide-induced accelerated senescence. Consistent with this, cell growth and response to discodermolide was confirmed in vivo using tumor xenograft models. Furthermore, reintroduction of a nonphosphorylatable mutant (Thr-37/46 Ala) of 4E-BP1 was able to partially restore sensitivity and enhance proliferation in AD32 cells, suggesting that these effects are independent of phosphorylation by mTORC1. Microarray profiling of AD32-resistant cells versus sensitive A549 cells, and subsequent unbiased gene ontology analysis, identified molecular pathways and functional groupings of differentially expressed mRNAs implicated in overcoming discodermolide-induced senescence. The most statistically significant classes of differentially expressed genes included p53 signaling, G2/M checkpoint regulation, and genes involved in the role of BRCA1 in the DNA damage response. Consistent with this, p53 protein expression was up-regulated and had increased nuclear localization in AD32 cells relative to parental A549 cells. Furthermore, the stability of p53 was enhanced in AD32 cells. Our studies propose a role for 4E-BP1 as a regulator of discodermolide-induced accelerated senescence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-396
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 4 2011


  • Drug resistance
  • Senescence reversion
  • TOR signaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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