Decreased transcription-coupled nucleotide excision repair capacity is associated with increased p53- and MLH1-independent apoptosis in response to cisplatin
1 Cancer Therapeutics Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada
2 Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada
3 Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada
BMC Cancer 2010, 10:207 doi:10.1186/1471-2407-10-207Published: 14 May 2010
One of the most commonly used classes of anti-cancer drugs presently in clinical practice is the platinum-based drugs, including cisplatin. The efficacy of cisplatin therapy is often limited by the emergence of resistant tumours following treatment. Cisplatin resistance is multi-factorial but can be associated with increased DNA repair capacity, mutations in p53 or loss of DNA mismatch repair capacity.
RNA interference (RNAi) was used to reduce the transcription-coupled nucleotide excision repair (TC-NER) capacity of several prostate and colorectal carcinoma cell lines with specific defects in p53 and/or DNA mismatch repair. The effect of small inhibitory RNAs designed to target the CSB (Cockayne syndrome group B) transcript on TC-NER and the sensitivity of cells to cisplatin-induced apoptosis was determined.
These prostate and colon cancer cell lines were initially TC-NER proficient and RNAi against CSB significantly reduced their DNA repair capacity. Decreased TC-NER capacity was associated with an increase in the sensitivity of tumour cells to cisplatin-induced apoptosis, even in p53 null and DNA mismatch repair-deficient cell lines.
The present work indicates that CSB and TC-NER play a prominent role in determining the sensitivity of tumour cells to cisplatin even in the absence of p53 and DNA mismatch repair. These results further suggest that CSB represents a potential target for cancer therapy that may be important to overcome resistance to cisplatin in the clinic.