• Microtentacle Formation in Ovarian Carcinoma.

      Reader, Jocelyn C; Fan, Cong; Ory, Eleanor Claire-Higgins; Ju, Julia; Lee, Rachel; Vitolo, Michele I; Smith, Paige; Wu, Sulan; Ching, Mc Millan Nicol; Asiedu, Emmanuel B; et al. (MDPI AG, 2022-02-04)
      Background: The development of chemoresistance to paclitaxel and carboplatin represents a major therapeutic challenge in ovarian cancer, a disease frequently characterized by malignant ascites and extrapelvic metastasis. Microtentacles (McTNs) are tubulin-based projections observed in detached breast cancer cells. In this study, we investigated whether ovarian cancers exhibit McTNs and characterized McTN biology. Methods: We used an established lipid-tethering mechanism to suspend and image individual cancer cells. We queried a panel of immortalized serous (OSC) and clear cell (OCCC) cell lines as well as freshly procured ascites and human ovarian surface epithelium (HOSE). We assessed by Western blot β-tubulin isotype, α-tubulin post-translational modifications and actin regulatory proteins in attached/detached states. We studied clustering in suspended conditions. Effects of treatment with microtubule depolymerizing and stabilizing drugs were described. Results: Among cell lines, up to 30% of cells expressed McTNs. Four McTN morphologies (absent, symmetric-short, symmetric-long, tufted) were observed in immortalized cultures as well as ascites. McTN number/length varied with histology according to metastatic potential. Most OCCC overexpressed class III ß-tubulin. OCCC/OSC cell lines exhibited a trend towards more microtubule-stabilizing post-translational modifications of α-tubulin relative to HOSE. Microtubule depolymerizing drugs decreased the number/length of McTNs, confirming that McTNs are composed of tubulin. Cells that failed to form McTNs demonstrated differential expression of α-tubulin- and actin-regulating proteins relative to cells that form McTNs. Cluster formation is more susceptible to microtubule targeting agents in cells that form McTNs, suggesting a role for McTNs in aggregation. Conclusions: McTNs likely participate in key aspects of ovarian cancer metastasis. McTNs represent a new therapeutic target for this disease that could refine therapies, including intraperitoneal drug delivery.