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ICEC0942, an Orally Bioavailable Selective Inhibitor of CDK7 for Cancer Treatment.

Recent reports indicate that some cancer types are especially sensitive to transcription inhibition, suggesting that targeting the transcriptional machinery provides new approaches to cancer treatment. Cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)7 is necessary for transcription, and acts by phosphorylating the C-terminal domain (CTD) of RNA polymerase II (PolII) to enable transcription initiation. CDK7 additionally regulates the activities of a number of transcription factors, including Estrogen receptor-α (ER). Here we describe a new, orally bioavailable CDK7 inhibitor, ICEC0942. It selectively inhibits CDK7, with an IC50 of 40nM; IC50 values for CDK1, CDK2, CDK5 and CDK9 were 45-, 15-, 230- and 30-fold higher. In vitro studies show that a wide range of cancer types are sensitive to CDK7 inhibition with GI50 values ranging between 0.2-0.3 µM. In xenografts of both breast and colorectal cancers, the drug has substantial anti-tumor effects. Additionally, combination therapy with tamoxifen showed complete growth arrest of ER-positive tumor xenografts. Our findings reveal that CDK7 inhibition provides a new approach, especially for ER-positive breast cancer and identify ICEC0942 as a prototype drug with potential utility as a single agent or in combination with hormone therapies for breast cancer. ICEC0942 may also be effective in other cancers that display characteristics of transcription factor addiction, such as acute leukaemia, and small-cell lung cancer.

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Meta-Analysis of miRNAs and Their Involvement as Biomarkers in Oral Cancers.

Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma (OSCC) is one of the most common cancers worldwide. Recent studies have highlighted the role of miRNA in disease pathology, indicating its potential use as an early diagnostic marker. Dysregulated expression of miRNAs is known to affect cell growth, and these may function as tumor suppressors or oncogenes in various cancers. The main objective of this study was to characterize the extracellular miRNAs involved in (OC) that can potentially be used as biomarkers of OC. A total of 318 miRNAs involved in oral carcinoma were shortlisted. (DEGs) of oral carcinoma from reported experiments were identified. Common genes between lists of DEGs of OC of each miRNA were identified. These common genes are the targets of specific miRNA, which may be used as biomarkers of OC. A list of significant biomarkers for cancer was generated like CDH2 and CDK7, and functional enrichment analysis identified the role of miRNAs in major pathways like cell adhesion molecules pathway affected by cancer. We observed that at least 25 genes like , , , and so forth are regulated by a maximum number of miRNAs; thereby, they can be used as biomarkers of OC.

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A CRISPR screen identifies CDK7 as a therapeutic target in hepatocellular carcinoma.


1406 related Products with: A CRISPR screen identifies CDK7 as a therapeutic target in hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Allele-Specific Chromatin Recruitment and Therapeutic Vulnerabilities of ESR1 Activating Mutations.

Estrogen receptor α (ER) ligand-binding domain (LBD) mutations are found in a substantial number of endocrine treatment-resistant metastatic ER-positive (ER) breast cancers. We investigated the chromatin recruitment, transcriptional network, and genetic vulnerabilities in breast cancer models harboring the clinically relevant ER mutations. These mutants exhibit both ligand-independent functions that mimic estradiol-bound wild-type ER as well as allele-specific neomorphic properties that promote a pro-metastatic phenotype. Analysis of the genome-wide ER binding sites identified mutant ER unique recruitment mediating the allele-specific transcriptional program. Genetic screens identified genes that are essential for the ligand-independent growth driven by the mutants. These studies provide insights into the mechanism of endocrine therapy resistance engendered by ER mutations and potential therapeutic targets.

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Cdk9 regulates a promoter-proximal checkpoint to modulate RNA polymerase II elongation rate in fission yeast.

Post-translational modifications of the transcription elongation complex provide mechanisms to fine-tune gene expression, yet their specific impacts on RNA polymerase II regulation remain difficult to ascertain. Here, in Schizosaccharomyces pombe, we examine the role of Cdk9, and related Mcs6/Cdk7 and Lsk1/Cdk12 kinases, on transcription at base-pair resolution with Precision Run-On sequencing (PRO-seq). Within a minute of Cdk9 inhibition, phosphorylation of Pol II-associated factor, Spt5 is undetectable. The effects of Cdk9 inhibition are more severe than inhibition of Cdk7 and Cdk12, resulting in a shift of Pol II toward the transcription start site (TSS). A time course of Cdk9 inhibition reveals that early transcribing Pol II can escape promoter-proximal regions, but with a severely reduced elongation rate of only ~400 bp/min. Our results in fission yeast suggest the existence of a conserved global regulatory checkpoint that requires Cdk9 kinase activity.

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High MITF Expression Is Associated with Super-Enhancers and Suppressed by CDK7 Inhibition in Melanoma.

Cutaneous melanoma is an aggressive tumor that accounts for most skin cancer deaths. Among the physiological barriers against therapeutic success is a strong survival program driven by genes such as MITF that specify melanocyte identity, a phenomenon known in melanoma biology as lineage dependency. MITF overexpression is occasionally explained by gene amplification, but here we show that super-enhancers are also important determinants of MITF overexpression in some melanoma cell lines and tumors. Although compounds that directly inhibit MITF are unavailable, a covalent CDK7 inhibitor, THZ1, has recently been shown to potently suppress the growth of various cancers through the depletion of master transcription-regulating oncogenes and the disruption of their attendant super-enhancers. We also show that melanoma cells are highly sensitive to CDK7 inhibition both in vitro and in vivo and that THZ1 can dismantle the super-enhancer apparatus at MITF and SOX10 in some cell lines, thereby extinguishing their intracellular levels. Our results show a dimension to MITF regulation in melanoma cells and point to CDK7 inhibition as a potential strategy to deprive oncogenic transcription and suppress tumor growth in melanoma.

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The Orphan Nuclear Receptor Liver Homolog Receptor-1 (Nr5a2) Regulates Ovarian Granulosa Cell Proliferation.

In mouse ovaries, liver receptor homolog-1 [nuclear receptor subfamily 5, group A, member 2 (Nr5a2)] expression is restricted to granulosa cells. Mice with Nr5a2 depletion in this cell population fail to ovulate. To determine whether Nr5a2 is essential for granulosa cell proliferation during follicular maturation, we generated granulosa-specific conditional knockout mice (genotype Nr5a2 floxed Cre-recombinase driven by the anti-Müllerian type II receptor, hereafter cKO) with Nr5a2 depletion from primary follicles forward. Proliferation in cKO granulosa cells was substantially reduced relative to control (CON) counterparts, as assessed by bromodeoxyuridine incorporation, proliferative cell nuclear antigen expression, and fluorescent-activated cell sorting. Microarray analysis revealed >2000 differentially regulated transcripts between cKO and CON granulosa cells. Major gene ontology pathways disrupted were proliferation, steroid biosynthesis, female gamete formation, and ovulatory cycle. Transcripts for key cell-cycle genes, including , , , , , and , were in reduced abundance. Transcripts from other cell-cycle-related factors, including , , , , , , and , were overexpressed. Although the follicle-stimulating hormone and estrogen receptors were overexpressed in the cKO animals, treatment with estradiol-17 failed to rescue decreased proliferation. inactivation of Nr5a2 using the ML180 reverse agonist similarly decreased cell-cycle-related gene transcripts and downstream targets, as in cKO mice. Pharmacological inhibition of -catenin, an Nr5a2 cofactor, decreased cyclin gene transcripts and downstream targets. Terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick end labeling immunofluorescence and quantitative polymerase chain reaction of pro/antiapoptotic and autophagic markers showed no differences between cKO and CON granulosa cells. Thus, Nr5a2 is essential for granulosa cell proliferation, but its depletion does not alter the frequency of apoptosis nor autophagy.

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Corrigendum: Inhibitor Selectivity for Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 7: A Structural, Thermodynamic, and Modelling Study.


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is a mitotic gene that permits Cdk7 to be fully active as a Cdk-activating kinase.

encodes a cytosolic iron-sulphur assembly component. We found that is also essential for mitotic divisions and for the proliferation of diploid cells. Reduced activity causes severe mitotic defects in spindle dynamics and chromosome segregation, and loss of zygotic prevents the formation of imaginal discs. The lack of mitotic tissue in larvae can be rescued by overexpression of the Cdk-activating kinase (CAK) complex, an activator of mitotic Cdk1, suggesting that Mms19 functions in mitosis to allow CAK (Cdk7/Cyclin H/Mat1) to become fully active as a Cdk1-activating kinase. When bound to Xpd and TFIIH, the CAK subunit Cdk7 phosphorylates transcriptional targets and not cell cycle Cdks. In contrast, free CAK phosphorylates and activates Cdk1. Physical and genetic interaction studies between Mms19 and Xpd suggest that their interaction prevents Xpd from binding to the CAK complex. Xpd bound to Mms19 therefore frees CAK complexes, allowing them to phosphorylate Cdk1 and facilitating progression to metaphase. The structural basis for the competitive interaction with Xpd seems to be the binding of Mms19, core TFIIH and CAK to neighbouring or overlapping regions of Xpd.

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EWS/FLI Confers Tumor Cell Synthetic Lethality to CDK12 Inhibition in Ewing Sarcoma.

Many cancer types are driven by oncogenic transcription factors that have been difficult to drug. Transcriptional inhibitors, however, may offer inroads into targeting these cancers. Through chemical genomics screening, we identified that Ewing sarcoma is a disease with preferential sensitivity to THZ1, a covalent small-molecule CDK7/12/13 inhibitor. The selective CDK12/13 inhibitor, THZ531, impairs DNA damage repair in an EWS/FLI-dependent manner, supporting a synthetic lethal relationship between response to THZ1/THZ531 and EWS/FLI expression. The combination of these molecules with PARP inhibitors showed striking synergy in cell viability and DNA damage assays in vitro and in multiple models of Ewing sarcoma, including a PDX, in vivo without hematopoietic toxicity.

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