Highly parallel identification of essential genes in cancer cells

Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, 7 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.67). 01/2009; 105(51):20380-5. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0810485105
Source: PubMed


More complete knowledge of the molecular mechanisms underlying cancer will improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Efforts such as The Cancer Genome Atlas are systematically characterizing the structural basis of cancer, by identifying the genomic mutations associated with each cancer type. A powerful complementary approach is to systematically characterize the functional basis of cancer, by identifying the genes essential for growth and related phenotypes in different cancer cells. Such information would be particularly valuable for identifying potential drug targets. Here, we report the development of an efficient, robust approach to perform genome-scale pooled shRNA screens for both positive and negative selection and its application to systematically identify cell essential genes in 12 cancer cell lines. By integrating these functional data with comprehensive genetic analyses of primary human tumors, we identified known and putative oncogenes such as EGFR, KRAS, MYC, BCR-ABL, MYB, CRKL, and CDK4 that are essential for cancer cell proliferation and also altered in human cancers. We further used this approach to identify genes involved in the response of cancer cells to tumoricidal agents and found 4 genes required for the response of CML cells to imatinib treatment: PTPN1, NF1, SMARCB1, and SMARCE1, and 5 regulators of the response to FAS activation, FAS, FADD, CASP8, ARID1A and CBX1. Broad application of this highly parallel genetic screening strategy will not only facilitate the rapid identification of genes that drive the malignant state and its response to therapeutics but will also enable the discovery of genes that participate in any biological process.

    • "However, an effective and potent combination therapy employing this strategy has not yet been established. The recent development of shRNA libraries has enabled genome-wide genetic studies in cultured mammalian cells [9] [10]. In this study, we performed a screen of pooled shRNA libraries that identified COPB1 and ARCN1, which are essential for retrograde transport [11e14], as the determinants of sensitivity to 2DG. "
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    ABSTRACT: Combining glycolytic inhibition with other anti-cancer therapies is a potential approach to treating cancer. In this context, we attempted to identify genes that determine sensitivity to 2-deoxyglucose (2DG), a glycolytic inhibitor, in cancer cells using pooled shRNA libraries targeting ∼15,000 genes. The screen revealed that COPB1 and ARCN1, which are essential in retrograde transport, as determinants of sensitivity to 2DG: silencing of COPB1 or ARCN1 expression sensitized cells to 2DG toxicity. To address the mechanism of potentiation of 2DG toxicity by inhibition of COPI-mediated transport, we focused on the role of lipolysis as an alternate source of energy upon inhibition of glycolysis. In the process of lipolysis, COPI-mediated transport is required for localization to lipid droplets of adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL), a key enzyme that produces fatty acids from triacylglycerol as a substrate for β-oxidation. The ATGL inhibitor atglistatin potentiated 2DG toxicity, consistent with a model in which a defect in COPI-mediated transport of ATGL to lipid droplets inhibits energy supply, thereby sensitizing cells to glycolytic inhibition. Collectively, our data demonstrated that a defect in COPI-mediated transport or pharmacological inhibition of ATGL potentiates 2DG toxicity in cancer cells, possibly due to a reduction in the energy supply.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
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    • "Enrichment of pY-modified peptides was performed by using PhosphoScan reagents (CST) essentially following the manufacturer's recommendations [44]. Inline reversed-phase chromatography was performed using an integrated nano- LC system (Easy-nLC, Proxeon Biosystems A/S, Odense, Denmark). "
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    ABSTRACT: Aberrant expression and activation of FGFR3 is associated with disease states including bone dysplasia and malignancies of bladder, cervix, and bone marrow. MS analysis of protein-phosphotyrosine in multiple myeloma cells revealed a prevalent phosphorylated motif, D/EYYR/K, derived from the kinase domain activation loops of tyrosine kinases including FGFR3 corresponding to a recognition sequence of phosphotyrosine phosphatases PTPN1. Knockdown of PTPN1 or the related enzyme PTPN2 by RNAi resulted in ligand-independent activation of FGFR3. Modulation of FGFR3 activation loop phosphorylation by both PTPN1 and PTPN2 was a function of receptor trafficking and PTP compartmentalization. The FGFR3 activation loop motif DYYKK650 is altered to DYYKE650 in the oncogenic variant FGFR3K650E, and consequently it is constitutively fully activated and unaffected by activation loop phosphorylation. FGFR3K650E was nevertheless remarkably sensitive to negative regulation by PTPN1 and PTPN2. This suggests that in addition to modulating FGFR3 phosphorylation, PTPN1 and PTPN2 constrain the kinase domain by fostering an inactive-state. Loss of this constraint in response to ligand or impaired PTPN1/N2 may initiate FGFR3 activation. These results suggest a model wherein PTP expression levels may define conditions that select for ectopic FGFR3 expression and activation during tumorigenesis.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015 · Proteomics
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    • "To mitigate these effects, analytical approaches have been developed that look for phenotypic consistency across multiple hairpins targeting a gene (Luo et al, 2008; Cheung et al, 2011; Marcotte et al, 2012) and among the same hairpins in different screens (Shao et al, 2013). Not surprisingly, different approaches can yield different results, and the degree to which false positives contaminate results is largely unknown (Kaelin, 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Technological advancement has opened the door to systematic genetics in mammalian cells. Genome-scale loss-of-function screens can assay fitness defects induced by partial gene knockdown, using RNA interference, or complete gene knockout, using new CRISPR techniques. These screens can reveal the basic blueprint required for cellular proliferation. Moreover, comparing healthy to cancerous tissue can uncover genes that are essential only in the tumor; these genes are targets for the development of specific anticancer therapies. Unfortunately, progress in this field has been hampered by off-target effects of perturbation reagents and poorly quantified error rates in large-scale screens. To improve the quality of information derived from these screens, and to provide a framework for understanding the capabilities and limitations of CRISPR technology, we derive gold-standard reference sets of essential and nonessential genes, and provide a Bayesian classifier of gene essentiality that outperforms current methods on both RNAi and CRISPR screens. Our results indicate that CRISPR technology is more sensitive than RNAi and that both techniques have nontrivial false discovery rates that can be mitigated by rigorous analytical methods.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Molecular Systems Biology
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