Exclusive modifications of NuMA in malignant epithelial cells: A potential therapeutic mechanism

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review


NuMA (nuclear mitotic apparatus) protein is indispensable in the mitosis of human proliferating cells, both malignant and benign. The progression of mitosis requires stable spindles, which depend on the bipolar clustering of NuMA within the spindles. The phenanthridine PJ34 kills malignant epithelial cells during mitosis and targets NuMA. PJ34 treated healthy cells are not impaired. PJ34 exclusively blocks the post-translational modification of NuMA in a variety of malignant epithelial cells, but not in benign cells. This blockage of the post-translational modification of NuMA affects its protein-binding capacity, causing construction faults in the mitotic spindle poles of PJ34-treated cancer cells, leading to Mitotic Catastrophe cell death. PJ34 is a potent PARP1 inhibitor. Therefore its PARP independent exclusive cytotoxicity in human malignant cells, challenges the currently accepted notion that inhibition of PARP1 halts cancer by preventing DNA repair. Certain molecules that act as PARP1 inhibitors kill cancer cells by targeting other proteins and vital mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1205-1209
Number of pages5
JournalDrug Discovery Today
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022


  • Human malignant epithelial cells
  • Mitotic catastrophe cell death
  • Mitotic spindle
  • NuMA
  • PARP1 inhibitors
  • PJ34


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