Microtubule inhibitors are important cancer drugs that induce mitotic arrest by activating the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC), which, in turn, inhibits the ubiquitin ligase activity of the anaphase-promoting complex (APC). Here, we report a small molecule, tosyl-L-arginine methyl ester (TAME), which binds to the APC and prevents its activation by Cdc20 and Cdh1. A prodrug of TAME arrests cells in metaphase without perturbing the spindle, but nonetheless the arrest is dependent on the SAC. Metaphase arrest induced by a proteasome inhibitor is also SAC dependent, suggesting that APC-dependent proteolysis is required to inactivate the SAC. We propose that mutual antagonism between the APC and the SAC yields a positive feedback loop that amplifies the ability of TAME to induce mitotic arrest.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research