Exclusive destruction of mitotic spindles in human cancer cells

Leonid Visochek, Asher Castiel, Leonid Mittelman, Michael Elkin, Dikla Atias, Talia Golan, Shai Izraeli, Tamar Peretz, Malka Cohen-Armon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We identified target proteins modified by phenanthrenes that cause exclusive eradication of human cancer cells. The cytotoxic activity of the phenanthrenes in a variety of human cancer cells is attributed by these findings to post translational modifications of NuMA and kinesins HSET/kifC1 and kif18A. Their activity prevented the binding of NuMA to α-tubulin and kinesins in human cancer cells, and caused aberrant spindles. The most efficient cytotoxic activity of the phenanthridine PJ34, caused significantly smaller aberrant spindles with disrupted spindle poles and scattered extra-centrosomes and chromosomes. Concomitantly, PJ34 induced tumor growth arrest of human malignant tumors developed in athymic nude mice, indicating the relevance of its activity for cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20813-20824
Number of pages12
Issue number13
StatePublished - 2017


  • Human cancer cells
  • Kinesins
  • Mitotic spindles
  • NuMA
  • Phenanthrenes


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