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Short-hairpin RNA library: identification of therapeutic partners for gefitinib-resistant non-small cell lung cancer.

  • Author(s): Sudo, Makoto
  • Mori, Seiichi
  • Madan, Vikas
  • Yang, Henry
  • Leong, Geraldine
  • Koeffler, H Phillip
  • et al.
Abstract

Somatic mutations of the epidermal growth factor receptor often cause resistance to therapy with tyrosine kinase inhibitor in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In this study, we aimed to identify partner drugs and pathways that can induce cell death in combination with gefitinib in NSCLC cells. We undertook a genome-wide RNAi screen to identify synthetic lethality with gefitinib in tyrosine kinase inhibitor resistant cells. The screening data were utilized in different approaches. Firstly, we identified PRKCSH as a candidate gene, silencing of which induces apoptosis of NSCLC cells treated with gefitinib. Next, in an in silico gene signature pathway analysis of shRNA library data, a strong correlation of genes involved in the CD27 signaling cascade was observed. We showed that the combination of dasatinib (NF-κB pathway inhibitor) with gefitinib synergistically inhibited the growth of NSCLC cells. Lastly, utilizing the Connectivity Map, thioridazine was identified as a top pharmaceutical perturbagen. In our experiments, it synergized with gefitinib to reduce p-Akt levels and to induce apoptosis in NSCLC cells. Taken together, a pooled short-hairpin library screen identified several potential pathways and drugs that can be therapeutic targets for gefitinib resistant NSCLC.

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