Research ArticleCELL BIOLOGY

A CDC7 inhibitor sensitizes DNA-damaging chemotherapies by suppressing homologous recombination repair to delay DNA damage recovery

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Science Advances  21 May 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 21, eabf0197
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abf0197


Cell division cycle 7 (CDC7), a serine/threonine kinase, plays important roles in DNA replication. We developed a highly specific CDC7 inhibitor, TAK-931, as a clinical cancer therapeutic agent. This study aimed to identify the potential combination partners of TAK-931 for guiding its clinical development strategies. Unbiased high-throughput chemical screening revealed that the highest synergistic antiproliferative effects observed were the combinations of DNA-damaging agents with TAK-931. Functional phosphoproteomic analysis demonstrated that TAK-931 suppressed homologous recombination repair activity, delayed recovery from double-strand breaks, and led to accumulation of DNA damages in the combination. Whole-genome small interfering RNA library screening identified sensitivity-modulating molecules, which propose the experimentally predicted target cancer types for the combination, including pancreatic, esophageal, ovarian, and breast cancers. The efficacy of combination therapy in these cancer types was preclinically confirmed in the corresponding primary-derived xenograft models. Thus, our findings would be helpful to guide the future clinical strategies for TAK-931.

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