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Mcl-1 deficiency in murine livers leads to nuclear polyploidisation and mitotic errors: Implications for hepatocellular carcinoma


Clerbaux, Laure-Alix; Cordier, Pierre; Desboeufs, Nina; Unger, Kristian; Leary, Peter; Semere, Gabriel; Boege, Yannick; Chan, Lap Kwan; Desdouets, Chantal; Lopes, Massimo; Weber, Achim (2023). Mcl-1 deficiency in murine livers leads to nuclear polyploidisation and mitotic errors: Implications for hepatocellular carcinoma. JHEP Reports, 5(10):100838.

Abstract

BACKGROUND & AIMS

Mcl-1, an antiapoptotic protein overexpressed in many tumours, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), represents a promising target for cancer treatment. Although Mcl-1 non-apoptotic roles might critically influence the therapeutic potential of Mcl-1 inhibitors, these functions remain poorly understood. We aimed to investigate the effects of hepatic Mcl-1 deficiency (Mcl-1$^{Δhep}$) on hepatocyte ploidy and cell cycle in murine liver in vivo and the possible implications on HCC.

METHODS

Livers of young Mcl-1$^{Δhep}$ and wild-type (WT) mice were analysed for ploidy profile, mitotic figures, in situ chromosome segregation, gene set enrichment analysis and were subjected to two-thirds partial hepatectomy to assess Mcl-1 deficiency effect on cell cycle progression in vivo. Mcl-1$^{Δhep}$ tumours in older mice were analysed for ploidy profile, chromosomal instability, and mutational signatures via whole exome sequencing.

RESULTS

In young mice, Mcl-1 deficiency leads to nuclear polyploidy and to high rates of mitotic errors with abnormal spindle figures and chromosome mis-segregation along with a prolonged spindle assembly checkpoint activation signature. Chromosomal instability and altered ploidy profile are observed in Mcl-1$^{Δhep}$ tumours of old mice as well as a characteristic mutational signature of currently unknown aetiology.

CONCLUSIONS

Our study suggests novel non-apoptotic effects of Mcl-1 deficiency on nuclear ploidy, mitotic regulation, and chromosomal segregation in hepatocytes in vivo. In addition, the Mcl-1 deficiency characteristic mutational signature might reflect mitotic issues. These results are of importance to consider when developing anti-Mcl-1 therapies to treat cancer.

IMPACT AND IMPLICATIONS

Although Mcl-1 inhibitors represent promising hepatocellular carcinoma treatment, the still poorly understood non-apoptotic roles of Mcl-1 might compromise their successful clinical application. Our study shows that Mcl-1 deficiency leads to nuclear polyploidy, mitotic errors, and aberrant chromosomal segregation in hepatocytes in vivo, whereas hepatocellular tumours spontaneously induced by Mcl-1 deficiency exhibit chromosomal instability and a mutational signature potentially reflecting mitotic issues. These results have potential implications for the development of anti-Mcl-1 therapies to treat hepatocellular carcinoma, especially as hyperproliferative liver is a clinically relevant situation.

Abstract

BACKGROUND & AIMS

Mcl-1, an antiapoptotic protein overexpressed in many tumours, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), represents a promising target for cancer treatment. Although Mcl-1 non-apoptotic roles might critically influence the therapeutic potential of Mcl-1 inhibitors, these functions remain poorly understood. We aimed to investigate the effects of hepatic Mcl-1 deficiency (Mcl-1$^{Δhep}$) on hepatocyte ploidy and cell cycle in murine liver in vivo and the possible implications on HCC.

METHODS

Livers of young Mcl-1$^{Δhep}$ and wild-type (WT) mice were analysed for ploidy profile, mitotic figures, in situ chromosome segregation, gene set enrichment analysis and were subjected to two-thirds partial hepatectomy to assess Mcl-1 deficiency effect on cell cycle progression in vivo. Mcl-1$^{Δhep}$ tumours in older mice were analysed for ploidy profile, chromosomal instability, and mutational signatures via whole exome sequencing.

RESULTS

In young mice, Mcl-1 deficiency leads to nuclear polyploidy and to high rates of mitotic errors with abnormal spindle figures and chromosome mis-segregation along with a prolonged spindle assembly checkpoint activation signature. Chromosomal instability and altered ploidy profile are observed in Mcl-1$^{Δhep}$ tumours of old mice as well as a characteristic mutational signature of currently unknown aetiology.

CONCLUSIONS

Our study suggests novel non-apoptotic effects of Mcl-1 deficiency on nuclear ploidy, mitotic regulation, and chromosomal segregation in hepatocytes in vivo. In addition, the Mcl-1 deficiency characteristic mutational signature might reflect mitotic issues. These results are of importance to consider when developing anti-Mcl-1 therapies to treat cancer.

IMPACT AND IMPLICATIONS

Although Mcl-1 inhibitors represent promising hepatocellular carcinoma treatment, the still poorly understood non-apoptotic roles of Mcl-1 might compromise their successful clinical application. Our study shows that Mcl-1 deficiency leads to nuclear polyploidy, mitotic errors, and aberrant chromosomal segregation in hepatocytes in vivo, whereas hepatocellular tumours spontaneously induced by Mcl-1 deficiency exhibit chromosomal instability and a mutational signature potentially reflecting mitotic issues. These results have potential implications for the development of anti-Mcl-1 therapies to treat hepatocellular carcinoma, especially as hyperproliferative liver is a clinically relevant situation.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of Pathology and Molecular Pathology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Molecular Cancer Research
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Molecular Cancer Research

04 Faculty of Medicine > Functional Genomics Center Zurich
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
570 Life sciences; biology
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Internal Medicine
Health Sciences > Immunology and Allergy
Health Sciences > Hepatology
Health Sciences > Gastroenterology
Language:English
Date:October 2023
Deposited On:23 Nov 2023 07:21
Last Modified:29 Apr 2024 01:40
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:2589-5559
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhepr.2023.100838
PubMed ID:37663116
Other Identification Number:PMCID: PMC10472239
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)