Purpose: One of the main challenges in cancer therapy is the identification of molecular mechanisms mediating resistance or sensitivity to treatment. Cytidine deaminase (CDA) was reported to be downregulated in cells derived from patients with Bloom syndrome, a genetic disease associated with a strong predisposition to a wide range of cancers. The purpose of this study was to determine whether CDA deficiency could be associated with tumors from the general population and could constitute a predictive marker of susceptibility to antitumor drugs.
Experimental Design: We analyzed CDA expression in silico, in large datasets for cancer cell lines and tumors and in various cancer cell lines and primary tumor tissues using IHC, PDXs, qRT-PCR, and Western blotting. We also studied the mechanism underlying CDA silencing and searched for molecules that might target specifically CDA-deficient tumor cells using in silico analysis coupled to classical cellular experimental approaches.
Results: We found that CDA expression is downregulated in about 60% of cancer cells and tissues. We demonstrate that DNA methylation is a prevalent mechanism of CDA silencing in tumors. Finally, we show that CDA-deficient tumor cells can be specifically targeted with epigenetic treatments and with the anticancer drug aminoflavone.
Conclusions: CDA expression status identifies new subgroups of cancers, and CDA deficiency appears to be a novel and relevant predictive marker of susceptibility to antitumor drugs, opening up new possibilities for treating cancer. Clin Cancer Res; 23(8); 2116–26. ©2016 AACR.
This article is featured in Highlights of This Issue, p. 1877
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Clinical Cancer Research Online (http://clincancerres.aacrjournals.org/).
- Received March 8, 2016.
- Revision received July 25, 2016.
- Accepted August 25, 2016.
- ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.