CHK1 Inhibition Is Synthetically Lethal with Loss of B-Family DNA Polymerase Function in Human Lung and Colorectal Cancer Cells.
MetadataShow full item record
Checkpoint kinase 1 (CHK1) is a key mediator of the DNA damage response that regulates cell-cycle progression, DNA damage repair, and DNA replication. Small-molecule CHK1 inhibitors sensitize cancer cells to genotoxic agents and have shown single-agent preclinical activity in cancers with high levels of replication stress. However, the underlying genetic determinants of CHK1 inhibitor sensitivity remain unclear. We used the developmental clinical drug SRA737 in an unbiased large-scale siRNA screen to identify novel mediators of CHK1 inhibitor sensitivity and uncover potential combination therapies and biomarkers for patient selection. We identified subunits of the B-family of DNA polymerases ( POLA1, POLE , and POLE2 ) whose silencing sensitized the human A549 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and SW620 colorectal cancer cell lines to SRA737. B-family polymerases were validated using multiple siRNAs in a panel of NSCLC and colorectal cancer cell lines. Replication stress, DNA damage, and apoptosis were increased in human cancer cells following depletion of the B-family DNA polymerases combined with SRA737 treatment. Moreover, pharmacologic blockade of B-family DNA polymerases using aphidicolin or CD437 combined with CHK1 inhibitors led to synergistic inhibition of cancer cell proliferation. Furthermore, low levels of POLA1, POLE, and POLE2 protein expression in NSCLC and colorectal cancer cells correlated with single-agent CHK1 inhibitor sensitivity and may constitute biomarkers of this phenotype. These findings provide a potential basis for combining CHK1 and B-family polymerase inhibitors in cancer therapy. SIGNIFICANCE: These findings demonstrate how the therapeutic benefit of CHK1 inhibitors may potentially be enhanced and could have implications for patient selection and future development of new combination therapies.
Cell Line, Tumor
DNA Polymerase beta
DNA Polymerase I
DNA Polymerase II
RNA, Small Interfering
Gene Knockdown Techniques
Heterocyclic Compounds, 4 or More Rings
Checkpoint Kinase 1
Poly-ADP-Ribose Binding Proteins
Medicinal Chemistry 2
Signal Transduction & Molecular Pharmacology
License start date
Cancer research, 2020, 80 (8), pp. 1735 - 1747