BackgroundHigh grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) is highly lethal, partly due to chemotherapy resistance and limited availability of targeted approaches. Cyclin dependent kinases 12 and 13 (CDK12/13) are promising therapeutic targets in human cancers, including HGSOC. Nevertheless, the effects of their inhibition in HGSOC and the potential synergy with other drugs are poorly known.MethodsWe analyzed the effects of the CDK12/13 inhibitor THZ531 in HGSOC cells and patient-derived organoids (PDOs). RNA sequencing and quantitative PCR analyses were performed to identify the genome-wide effects of short-term CDK12/13 inhibition on the transcriptome of HGSOC cells. Viability assays with HGSOC cells and PDOs were performed to assess the efficacy of THZ531 as single agent or in combination with clinically relevant drugs.ResultsThe CDK12 and CDK13 genes are deregulated in HGSOC and their concomitant up-regulation with the oncogene MYC predicts poor prognosis. HGSOC cells and PDOs display high sensitivity to CDK12/13 inhibition, which synergizes with drugs in clinical use for HGSOC. Transcriptome analyses revealed cancer-relevant genes whose expression is repressed by dual CDK12/13 inhibition through impaired splicing. Combined treatment with THZ531 and inhibitors of pathways regulated by these cancer relevant genes (EGFR, RPTOR, ATRIP) exerted synergic effects on HGSOC PDO viability.ConclusionsCDK12 and CDK13 represent valuable therapeutic targets for HGSOC. We uncovered a wide spectrum of CDK12/13 targets as potential therapeutic vulnerabilities for HGSOC. Moreover, our study indicates that CDK12/13 inhibition enhances the efficacy of approved drugs that are already in use for HGSOC or other human cancers.

Cesari, E., Ciucci, A., Pieraccioli, M., Caggiano, C., Nero, C., Bonvissuto, D., Sillano, F., Buttarelli, M., Piermattei, A., Loverro, M., Camarda, F., Greco, V., De Bonis, M. V., Minucci, A., Gallo Guido, D., Urbani, A., Vizzielli, G., Scambia, G., Sette, C., Dual inhibition of CDK12 and CDK13 uncovers actionable vulnerabilities in patient-derived ovarian cancer organoids, <<JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL & CLINICAL CANCER RESEARCH>>, 2023; 42 (1): 126-144. [doi:10.1186/s13046-023-02682-5] [https://hdl.handle.net/10807/256174]

Dual inhibition of CDK12 and CDK13 uncovers actionable vulnerabilities in patient-derived ovarian cancer organoids

Cesari, Eleonora
Primo
;
Pieraccioli, Marco;Caggiano, Cinzia;Nero, Camilla;Bonvissuto, Davide;Loverro, Matteo;Camarda, Floriana;Greco, Viviana;De Bonis, Maria Valeria;Minucci, Angelo;Gallo Guido, Daniela;Urbani, Andrea;Vizzielli, Giuseppe;Scambia, Giovanni
Penultimo
;
Sette, Claudio
Ultimo
2023

Abstract

BackgroundHigh grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) is highly lethal, partly due to chemotherapy resistance and limited availability of targeted approaches. Cyclin dependent kinases 12 and 13 (CDK12/13) are promising therapeutic targets in human cancers, including HGSOC. Nevertheless, the effects of their inhibition in HGSOC and the potential synergy with other drugs are poorly known.MethodsWe analyzed the effects of the CDK12/13 inhibitor THZ531 in HGSOC cells and patient-derived organoids (PDOs). RNA sequencing and quantitative PCR analyses were performed to identify the genome-wide effects of short-term CDK12/13 inhibition on the transcriptome of HGSOC cells. Viability assays with HGSOC cells and PDOs were performed to assess the efficacy of THZ531 as single agent or in combination with clinically relevant drugs.ResultsThe CDK12 and CDK13 genes are deregulated in HGSOC and their concomitant up-regulation with the oncogene MYC predicts poor prognosis. HGSOC cells and PDOs display high sensitivity to CDK12/13 inhibition, which synergizes with drugs in clinical use for HGSOC. Transcriptome analyses revealed cancer-relevant genes whose expression is repressed by dual CDK12/13 inhibition through impaired splicing. Combined treatment with THZ531 and inhibitors of pathways regulated by these cancer relevant genes (EGFR, RPTOR, ATRIP) exerted synergic effects on HGSOC PDO viability.ConclusionsCDK12 and CDK13 represent valuable therapeutic targets for HGSOC. We uncovered a wide spectrum of CDK12/13 targets as potential therapeutic vulnerabilities for HGSOC. Moreover, our study indicates that CDK12/13 inhibition enhances the efficacy of approved drugs that are already in use for HGSOC or other human cancers.
2023
Inglese
Cesari, E., Ciucci, A., Pieraccioli, M., Caggiano, C., Nero, C., Bonvissuto, D., Sillano, F., Buttarelli, M., Piermattei, A., Loverro, M., Camarda, F., Greco, V., De Bonis, M. V., Minucci, A., Gallo Guido, D., Urbani, A., Vizzielli, G., Scambia, G., Sette, C., Dual inhibition of CDK12 and CDK13 uncovers actionable vulnerabilities in patient-derived ovarian cancer organoids, <<JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL & CLINICAL CANCER RESEARCH>>, 2023; 42 (1): 126-144. [doi:10.1186/s13046-023-02682-5] [https://hdl.handle.net/10807/256174]
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