Genome wide CRISPR/Cas9 screen identifies the coagulation factor IX (F9) as a regulator of senescence

During this last decade, the development of prosenescence therapies has become an attractive strategy as cellular senescence acts as a barrier against tumour progression. In this context, CDK4/6 inhibitors induce senescence and reduce tumour growth in breast cancer patients. However, even though cancer cells are arrested after CDK4/6 inhibitor treatment, genes regulating senescence in this context are still unknown limiting their antitumour activity. Here, using a functional genome-wide CRISPR/Cas9 genetic screen we found several genes that participate in the proliferation arrest induced by CDK4/6 inhibitors. We find that downregulation of the coagulation factor IX (F9) using sgRNA and shRNA prevents the cell cycle arrest and senescent-like phenotype induced in MCF7 breast tumour cells upon Palbociclib treatment. These results were confirmed using another breast cancer cell line, T47D, and with an alternative CDK4/6 inhibitor, Abemaciclib, and further tested in a panel of 22 cancer cells. While F9 knockout prevents the induction of senescence, treatment with a recombinant F9 protein was sufficient to induce a cell cycle arrest and senescence-like state in MCF7 tumour cells. Besides, endogenous F9 is upregulated in different human primary cells cultures undergoing senescence. Importantly, bioinformatics analysis of cancer datasets suggest a role for F9 in human tumours. Altogether, these data collectively propose key genes involved in CDK4/6 inhibitor response that will be useful to design new therapeutic strategies in personalised medicine in order to increase their efficiency, stratify patients and avoid drug resistance.

  • Authors: Paula Carpintero-Fernández, Michela Borghesan, Olga Eleftheriadou, Belen Pan-Castillo, Juan Antonio Fafián-Labora, Tom P. Mitchell, Alejandro Yuste, Muge Ogrunc, Thomas D. Nightingale, Maria Mayan and Ana O’Loghlen
  • Journal: Cell Death & Disease 13: 163.

Click here to read more