High-confidence cancer patient stratification through multiomics investigation of DNA repair disorders

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Multiple cancer types have limited targeted therapeutic options, in part due to incomplete understanding of the molecular processes underlying tumorigenesis and significant intra- and inter-tumor heterogeneity. Identification of novel molecular biomarkers stratifying cancer patients with different survival outcomes may provide new opportunities for target discovery and subsequent development of tailored therapies. Here, we applied the artificial intelligence-driven PandaOmics platform (https://pandaomics.com/) to explore gene expression changes in rare DNA repair-deficient disorders and identify novel cancer targets. Our analysis revealed that CEP135, a scaffolding protein associated with early centriole biogenesis, is commonly downregulated in DNA repair diseases with high cancer predisposition. Further screening of survival data in 33 cancers available at TCGA database identified sarcoma as a cancer type where lower survival was significantly associated with high CEP135 expression. Stratification of cancer patients based on CEP135 expression enabled us to examine therapeutic targets that could be used for the improvement of existing therapies against sarcoma. The latter was based on application of the PandaOmics target-ID algorithm coupled with in vitro studies that revealed polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1) as a potential therapeutic candidate in sarcoma patients with high CEP135 levels and poor survival. While further target validation is required, this study demonstrated the potential of in silico-based studies for a rapid biomarker discovery and target characterization.

Original languageEnglish
Article number999
JournalCell Death and Disease
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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© 2022, The Author(s).

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