Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Paclitaxel is a main ingredient in the combination chemotherapy treatment of advanced human cervical squamous cell carcinomas. We investigated the roles and underlying molecular mechanisms of PinX1 in cervical squamous cell carcinomas (CSCC) cells response to paclitaxel and its clinical significances. The expression dynamics of PinX1 was first examined by immunohistochemistry in 122 advanced CSCC patients treated with cisplatin/paclitaxel chemotherapy. The expression of PinX1 was significantly associated with the effects of cisplatin/paclitaxel chemotherapy in advanced CSCCs (P<0.05). High expression of PinX1 correlated with CSCC's response to cisplatin/paclitaxel chemotherapy, and was an independent predictor of shortened survival (P<0.05). A series of in vivo and in vitro assays were performed to elucidate the function of PinX1 on CSCC cells chemosensitivity to paclitaxel and underlying mechanisms. In CSCC cells, the levels of PinX1 were only associated with the cytotoxicity and sensitivity of paclitaxel, in which knockdown of PinX1 dramatically enhanced paclitaxel cytotoxicity, whereas the reestablishment of PinX1 levels substantially reduced the paclitaxel-induced killing effect. In addition, we identified that the ability of PinX1 to stabilize the tension between sister kinetochores and maintain the spindle assembly checkpoint was the main reason CSCC cells undergo apoptosis when treated with paclitaxel, and further studies demonstrated that shortened distance between sisters kinetochores by nocodazole confers upon PinX1-replenished cells a sensitivity to the death inducing paclitaxel effects. Furthermore, our study of CSCC cells xenografts in nude mice confirmed the role of PinX1 in paclitaxel sensitivity in vivo. Our data reveal that PinX1 could be used as a novel predictor for CSCC patient response to paclitaxel, and the role of PinX1-mediated paclitaxel sensitivity might represent a new direction for the development of a new generation of microtubule drugs.