Mitotic Stress and Chromosomal Instability in Cancer: The Case for TPX2

Genes Cancer. 2012 Nov;3(11-12):721-30. doi: 10.1177/1947601912473306.


Cell cycle deregulation is a common motif in human cancer, and multiple therapeutic strategies are aimed to prevent tumor cell proliferation. Whereas most current therapies are designed to arrest cell cycle progression either in G1/S or in mitosis, new proposals include targeting the intrinsic chromosomal instability (CIN, an increased rate of gain or losses of chromosomes during cell division) or aneuploidy (a genomic composition that differs from diploid) that many tumor cells display. Why tumors cells are chromosomally unstable or aneuploid and what are the consequences of these alterations are not completely clear at present. Several mitotic regulators are overexpressed as a consequence of oncogenic alterations, and they are likely to alter the proper regulation of chromosome segregation in cancer cells. In this review, we propose the relevance of TPX2, a mitotic regulator involved in the formation of the mitotic spindle, in oncogene-induced mitotic stress. This protein, as well as its partner Aurora-A, is frequently overexpressed in human cancer, and its deregulation may participate not only in chromosome numeric aberrations but also in other forms of genomic instability in cancer cells.

Keywords: TPX2; aurora kinases; cancer; chromosomal instability; mitosis; oncogene-induced mitotic stress.