DIAPH1 facilitates paclitaxel-mediated cytotoxicity of ovarian cancer cells

  • Wilhelm Flat
  • Sarah Borowski
  • Themistoklis Paraschiakos
  • Christine Blechner
  • Sabine Windhorst


The chemotherapeutic agent paclitaxel (PTX) selectively binds to and stabilizes microtubule (MTs). Also, the activated formin Diaphanous Related Formin 1 (DIAPH1) binds to MTs and increases its stability. In a recent study, we found that high DIAPH1 levels correlated with increased survival of ovarian cancer (Ovca) patients. A possible explanation for this finding is that Ovca cells with high DIAPH1 levels are more sensitive to PTX. To examine this assumption, in this study the effect of DIAPH1 depletion on PTX-mediated cytotoxicity of OVCAR8 and OAW42 cells was analyzed. Our data showed that down-regulation of DIAPH1 expression decreased PTX sensitivity in both cell lines by reducing apoptosis or necrosis. Analysis of MT stability by Western blotting revealed a decreased concentration of stable, detyrosinated MTs in PTX-treated DIAPH1 knock-down compared to control cells. Also, in fixed metaphase cells the level of stable, detyrosinated spindle MTs decreased in cells with reduced DIAPH1 expression. In vitro analysis with recombinant DIAPH1 protein showed that PTX and DIAPH1 exhibited additive effects on MT-polymerization, showing that also in a cell-free system DIAPH1 increased the effect of PTX on MT-stability. Together, our data strongly indicate that DIAPH1 increases the response of Ovca cells to PTX by enhancing PTX-mediated MT-stability.

Bibliographical data

Original languageEnglish
Article number114898
Publication statusPublished - 03.2022
PubMed 34968485