Mutations in genes encoding subunits of the cohesin complex are common in several cancers, but may also expose druggable vulnerabilities. We generated isogenic MCF10A cell lines with deletion mutations of genes encoding cohesin subunits SMC3, RAD21 and STAG2 and screened for synthetic lethality with 3,009 FDA-approved compounds. The screen identified several compounds that interfere with transcription, DNA damage repair and the cell cycle. Unexpectedly, one of the top 'hits' was a GSK3 inhibitor, an agonist of Wnt signaling. We show that sensitivity to GSK3 inhibition is likely due to stabilization of b-catenin in cohesin mutant cells, and that Wnt-responsive gene expression is highly sensitized in STAG2-mutant CMK leukemia cells. Moreover, Wnt activity is enhanced in zebrafish mutant for cohesin subunits stag2b and rad21. Our results suggest that cohesin mutations could progress oncogenesis by enhancing Wnt signaling, and that targeting the Wnt pathway may represent a novel therapeutic strategy for cohesin mutant cancers.
All RNA sequencing data has been deposited at the GEO database under accession codes GSE154086. All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files. Source data files have been provided for Figures 1-5 and Table 1.
Expression profiling in cohesin mutant MCF10A epithelial and CMK leukaemia cellsNCBI Gene Expression Omnibus, GSE154086.
- Julia A Horsfield
- Ross D Hannan
- Julia A Horsfield
- Antonio Musio
- Jisha Antony
- Julia A Horsfield
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: Work with zebrafish was approved by the University of Otago (Dunedin) Animal Ethics Committee (AUP19/17) and conducted using approved institutional animal care standard operating procedures.
- Ravi Majeti, Stanford University, United States
© 2020, Chin et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Centrosomes act as the main microtubule organizing center (MTOC) in metazoans. Centrosome number is tightly regulated by limiting centriole duplication to a single round per cell cycle. This control is achieved by multiple mechanisms, including the regulation of the protein kinase PLK4, the most upstream facilitator of centriole duplication. Altered centrosome numbers in mouse and human cells cause p53-dependent growth arrest through poorly defined mechanisms. Recent work has shown that the E3 ligase TRIM37 is required for cell cycle arrest in acentrosomal cells. To gain additional insights into this process, we undertook a series of genome-wide CRISPR/Cas9 screens to identify factors important for growth arrest triggered by treatment with centrinone B, a selective PLK4 inhibitor. We found that TRIM37 is a key mediator of growth arrest after partial or full PLK4 inhibition. Interestingly, PLK4 cellular mobility decreased in a dose-dependent manner after centrinone B treatment. In contrast to recent work, we found that growth arrest after PLK4 inhibition correlated better with PLK4 activity than with mitotic length or centrosome number. These data provide insights into the global response to changes in centrosome number and PLK4 activity and extend the role for TRIM37 in regulating the abundance, localization, and function of centrosome proteins.
Hyperactivation of oncogenic pathways downstream of RAS and PI3K/AKT in normal cells induces a senescence-like phenotype that acts as a tumor-suppressive mechanism that must be overcome during transformation. We previously demonstrated that AKT-induced senescence (AIS) is associated with profound transcriptional and metabolic changes. Here, we demonstrate that human fibroblasts undergoing AIS display upregulated cystathionine-β-synthase (CBS) expression and enhanced uptake of exogenous cysteine, which lead to increased hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and glutathione (GSH) production, consequently protecting senescent cells from oxidative stress-induced cell death. CBS depletion allows AIS cells to escape senescence and re-enter the cell cycle, indicating the importance of CBS activity in maintaining AIS. Mechanistically, we show this restoration of proliferation is mediated through suppressing mitochondrial respiration and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production by reducing mitochondrial localized CBS while retaining antioxidant capacity of transsulfuration pathway. These findings implicate a potential tumor-suppressive role for CBS in cells with aberrant PI3K/AKT pathway activation. Consistent with this concept, in human gastric cancer cells with activated PI3K/AKT signaling, we demonstrate that CBS expression is suppressed due to promoter hypermethylation. CBS loss cooperates with activated PI3K/AKT signaling in promoting anchorage-independent growth of gastric epithelial cells, while CBS restoration suppresses the growth of gastric tumors in vivo. Taken together, we find that CBS is a novel regulator of AIS and a potential tumor suppressor in PI3K/AKT-driven gastric cancers, providing a new exploitable metabolic vulnerability in these cancers.