Malignant mesothelioma (MM) is poorly responsive to systemic cytotoxic chemotherapy and invariably fatal. Here we describe a screen of 94 drugs in 15 exome-sequenced MM lines and the discovery of a subset defined by loss of function of the nuclear deubiquitinase BRCA associated protein-1 (BAP1) that demonstrate heightened sensitivity to TRAIL (tumour necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand). This association is observed across human early passage MM cultures, mouse xenografts and human tumour explants. We demonstrate that BAP1 deubiquitinase activity and its association with ASXL1 to form the Polycomb repressive deubiquitinase complex (PR-DUB) impacts TRAIL sensitivity implicating transcriptional modulation as an underlying mechanism. Death receptor agonists are well-tolerated anti-cancer agents demonstrating limited therapeutic benefit in trials without a targeting biomarker. We identify BAP1 loss-of-function mutations, which are frequent in MM, as a potential genomic stratification tool for TRAIL sensitivity with immediate and actionable therapeutic implications.
Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is one of the most lethal urologic cancers. About one-third of RCC patients already have distal metastasis at the time of diagnosis. There is growing evidence that Hox antisense intergenic RNA (HOTAIR) plays essential roles in metastasis in several types of cancers. However, the precise mechanism by which HOTAIR enhances malignancy remains unclear, especially in RCC. Here, we demonstrated that HOTAIR enhances RCC-cell migration by regulating the insulin growth factor-binding protein 2 (IGFBP2) expression. HOTAIR expression in tumors was significantly correlated with nuclear grade, lymph-node metastasis, and lung metastasis. High HOTAIR expression was associated with a poor prognosis in both our dataset and The Cancer Genome Atlas dataset. Migratory capacity was enhanced in RCC cell lines in a HOTAIR-dependent manner. HOTAIR overexpression accelerated tumorigenicity and lung metastasis in immunodeficient mice. Microarray analysis revealed that IGFBP2 expression was upregulated in HOTAIR-overexpressing cells compared with control cells. The enhanced migration activity of HOTAIR-overexpressing cells was attenuated by IGFBP2 knockdown. IGFBP2 and HOTAIR were co-expressed in clinical RCC samples. Our findings suggest that the HOTAIR-IGFBP2 axis plays critical roles in RCC metastasis and may serve as a novel therapeutic target for advanced RCC.
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