Pluto Bioinformatics

GSE99794: Activation of the p53 transcriptional program sensitizes cancer cells to Cdk7 inhibitors

Bulk RNA sequencing

Cdk7, the CDK-activating kinase and transcription factor IIH component, is a target of inhibitors that kill cancer cells by exploiting tumor-specific transcriptional dependencies. However, whereas selective inhibition of analog-sensitive (AS) Cdk7 in colon cancer derived cells arrests division and disrupts transcription, it does not by itself trigger apoptosis efficiently. Here we show that p53 activation by 5-fluorouracil or nutlin-3 synergizes with a reversible Cdk7as inhibitor to induce cell death. Synthetic lethality was recapitulated with covalent inhibitors of wild-type Cdk7, THZ1 or the more selective YKL-1-116. The effects were allele-specific; a CDK7as mutation conferred both sensitivity to bulky adenine analogs and resistance to covalent inhibitors. Non-transformed colon epithelial cells were resistant to these combinations, as were cancer-derived cells with p53-inactivating mutations. Apoptosis was dependent on death receptor DR5, a p53 transcriptional target whose expression was refractory to Cdk7 inhibition. Therefore, p53 activation induces transcriptional dependency to sensitize cancer cells to Cdk7 inhibition. SOURCE: Richard,A,Young ( - Young Lab Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research

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