DNA Damage Response during Replication Correlates with CIN70 Score and Determines Survival in HNSCC Patients

Ioan T. Bold, Ann-Kathrin Specht, Conrad F. Droste, Alexandra Zielinski, Felix Meyer, Till S. Clauditz, Adrian Münscher, Stefan Werner, Kai Rothkamm, Cordula Petersen, Kerstin Borgmann
2021 Cancers  
Aneuploidy is a consequence of chromosomal instability (CIN) that affects prognosis. Gene expression levels associated with aneuploidy provide insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying CIN. Based on the gene signature whose expression was consistent with functional aneuploidy, the CIN70 score was established. We observed an association of CIN70 score and survival in 519 HNSCC patients in the TCGA dataset; the 15% patients with the lowest CIN70 score showed better survival (p = 0.11), but
more » ... association was statistically non-significant. This correlated with the expression of 39 proteins of the major repair complexes. A positive association with survival was observed for MSH2, XRCC1, MRE11A, BRCA1, BRCA2, LIG1, DNA2, POLD1, MCM2, RAD54B, claspin, a negative for ERCC1, all related with replication. We hypothesized that expression of these factors leads to protection of replication through efficient repair and determines survival and resistance to therapy. Protein expression differences in HNSCC cell lines did not correlate with cellular sensitivity after treatment. Rather, it was observed that the stability of the DNA replication fork determined resistance, which was dependent on the ATR/CHK1-mediated S-phase signaling cascade. This suggests that it is not the expression of individual DNA repair proteins that causes therapy resistance, but rather a balanced expression and coordinated activation of corresponding signaling cascades.
doi:10.3390/cancers13061194 pmid:33801877 fatcat:ibbfhzz7ejfojcmt3wyhbtmb7i