Association of epigenetic inactivation of the WRN gene with anticancer drug sensitivity in cervical cancer cells.
ABSTRACT The Werner (WRN) gene codes for a DNA helicase that contributes to genomic stability and has been identified as the gene responsible for progeria. Recent studies have shown reduced WRN expression due to aberrant DNA hypermethylation in cancer cells. Furthermore, WRN expression is thought to affect sensitivity to DNA topoisomerase I inhibitors in cancer therapy. In this study, we examined the relationship between aberrant DNA hypermethylation of WRN and the sensitivity of cervical cancer cells to anticancer drugs. DNA was extracted from samples from 22 patients with primary cervical cancer and 6 human cervical cancer-derived cell lines. Aberrant DNA hypermethylation was analyzed by methylation-specific PCR. WRN expression in cultured cells before and after addition of 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine, a demethylating agent, was examined using RT-PCR. The sensitivity of cells to anticancer drugs was determined using a collagen gel droplet embedded culture drug sensitivity test (CD-DST). siRNA against WRN was transfected into a cervical cancer-derived cell line with high WRN expression. Changes in drug sensitivity after silencing WRN were determined by CD-DST. Aberrant DNA hypermethylation and decreased expression of WRN were detected in 7/21 cases of primary cervical cancer and in two cervical cancer-derived cell lines. These two cell lines showed high sensitivity to CPT-11, a topoisomerase I inhibitor, but became resistant to CPT-11 after treatment with 5-aza-2-deoxycytidine. Transfection of siRNA against WRN increased the sensitivity of the cells to CPT-11. Aberrant DNA hypermethylation of WRN also increased the sensitivity of cervical cancer cells to CPT-11. Therefore, epigenetic inactivation of this gene may be a biomarker for selection of drugs for the treatment of cervical cancer. This is the first report to show a relationship between the methylation of the WRN gene and sensitivity to CPT-11 in gynecological cancers.
Article: Clinical evaluation of chemosensitivity testing for patients with unresectable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) using collagen gel droplet embedded culture drug sensitivity test (CD-DST).[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: In the present study, we prospectively evaluated the clinical feasibility and efficacy of collagen gel droplet embedded culture drug sensitivity test (CD-DST) in unresectable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) without previous treatment. Eighty patients with unresectable NSCLC, aged less than 81 years old, PS 0-1, and with evaluable tumor lesions, entered the study. If the patient had CD-DST active drugs, more than three cycles of chemotherapy containing these drugs were administered. If the patient did not have CD-DST active drugs, the patient could choose any treatment including best supportive care. Of the 80 patients in this study, CD-DST yielded results successfully in 49 patients (61.3%). CD-DST active drugs were present in 22 patients, and significantly more female patients had in vitro active anticancer agents than male (P=0.0008). All of the patients with CD-DST active agents received chemotherapy including these agents. In these patients, the response rate was 72.7%, and median survival was 15.0 months. In the patients without CD-DST active agents, 11 patients received standard, empirical chemotherapy. In these patients, response rate was 0%, and median survival was 6.0 months. The results show that CD-DST is capable of selecting the responders and the respective optimal regimens, and also delineating the patients less likely benefit from treatment.Cancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology 04/2007; 59(4):507-13. · 2.83 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Werner syndrome (WS) is an inherited disorder characterized by premature onset of aging, genomic instability, and increased cancer incidence. The disease is caused by loss of function mutations of the WRN gene, a RecQ family member with both helicase and exonuclease activities. However, despite its putative tumor-suppressor function, little is known about the contribution of WRN to human sporadic malignancies. Here, we report that WRN function is abrogated in human cancer cells by transcriptional silencing associated with CpG island-promoter hypermethylation. We also show that, at the biochemical and cellular levels, the epigenetic inactivation of WRN leads to the loss of WRN-associated exonuclease activity and increased chromosomal instability and apoptosis induced by topoisomerase inhibitors. The described phenotype is reversed by the use of a DNA-demethylating agent or by the reintroduction of WRN into cancer cells displaying methylation-dependent silencing of WRN. Furthermore, the restoration of WRN expression induces tumor-suppressor-like features, such as reduced colony formation density and inhibition of tumor growth in nude mouse xenograft models. Screening a large collection of human primary tumors (n = 630) from different cell types revealed that WRN CpG island hypermethylation was a common event in epithelial and mesenchymal tumorigenesis. Most importantly, WRN hypermethylation in colorectal tumors was a predictor of good clinical response to the camptothecin analogue irinotecan, a topoisomerase inhibitor commonly used in the clinical setting for the treatment of this tumor type. These findings highlight the importance of WRN epigenetic inactivation in human cancer, leading to enhanced chromosomal instability and hypersensitivity to chemotherapeutic drugs.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 07/2006; 103(23):8822-7. · 9.68 Impact Factor