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Synthetic lethality interaction between aurora kinases and CHEK1 inhibitors in ovarian cancer

By Ana Alcaraz-Sanabria, Cristina Nieto-Jiménez, Verónica Corrales-Sánchez, Leticia Serrano-Oviedo, Fernando Andrés-Pretel, Juan Carlos Montero, Miguel Burgos, Juan Llopis, Eva María Galán-Moya, Atanasio Pandiella and Alberto Ocaña


Ovarian cancer is characterized by frequent mutations at TP53. These tumors also harbor germline mutations at homologous recombination repair genes, so they rely on DNA-damage checkpoint proteins, like the checkpoint kinase 1 (CHEK1) to induce G arrest. In our study, by using an in silico approach, we identified a synthetic lethality interaction between CHEK1 and mitotic aurora kinase A (AURKA) inhibitors. Gene expression analyses were used for the identification of relevant biological functions. OVCAR3, OVCAR8, IGROV1, and SKOV3 were used for proliferation studies. Alisertib was tested as AURKA inhibitor and LY2603618 as CHEK1 inhibitor. Analyses of cell cycle and intracellular mediators were performed by flow cytometry and Western blot analysis. Impact on stem cell properties was evaluated by flow cytometry analysis of surface markers and sphere formation assays. Gene expression analyses followed by functional annotation identified a series of deregulated genes that belonged to cell cycle, including AURKA/B, TTK kinase, and CHEK1. AURKA and CHEK1 were amplified in 8.7% and 3.9% of ovarian cancers, respectively. AURKA and CHEK1 inhibitors showed a synergistic interaction in different cellular models. Combination of alisertib and LY2603618 triggered apoptosis, reduced the stem cell population, and increased the effect of taxanes and platinum compounds. Finally, expression of AURKA and CHEK1 was linked with detrimental outcome in patients. Our data describe a synthetic lethality interaction between CHEK1 and AURKA inhibitors with potential translation to the clinical setting.This work has been supported by Instituto de Salud Carlos III (PI16/01121),CIBERONC, ACEPAIN; Diputación de Albacete and CRIS Cancer Foundation (to A. Ocaña). Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness of Spain (BFU2015-71371-R), the Instituto de Salud Carlos III through the Spanish Cancer Centers Network Program (RD12/0036/0003) and CIBERONC, the scientific foundation of the AECC and the CRIS Foundation (to A. Pandiella). The work carried out in our laboratories receive support from the European Community through the regional development funding program (FEDER). J.C. Montero is a recipient of a Miguel Servet fellowship program (CP12/03073) and receive research support from the ISCIII (grants PI15/00684). E.M. Galan Moya is funded by the implementation research program of the UCLM (UCLM resolution date: 31/07/2014), with a contract for accessing the Spanish System of Science, Technology and Innovation-Secti (co-funded by the European Commission/FSE funds).Peer Reviewe

Publisher: American Association for Cancer Research
Year: 2018
DOI identifier: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-17-0223
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Provided by: Digital.CSIC
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