Nodes-and-connections RNAi knockdown screening: identification of a signaling molecule network involved in fulvestrant action and breast cancer prognosis
Wittner, B S
Isselbacher, K J
Sgroi, D C
Shioda, TNote: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.
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CitationMiyoshi, N, B S Wittner, K Shioda, T Hitora, T Ito, S Ramaswamy, K J Isselbacher, D C Sgroi, and T Shioda. 2015. “Nodes-and-connections RNAi knockdown screening: identification of a signaling molecule network involved in fulvestrant action and breast cancer prognosis.” Oncogenesis 4 (10): e172. doi:10.1038/oncsis.2015.32. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/oncsis.2015.32.
AbstractAlthough RNA interference (RNAi) knockdown screening of cancer cell cultures is an effective approach to predict drug targets or therapeutic/prognostic biomarkers, interactions among identified targets often remain obscure. Here, we introduce the nodes-and-connections RNAi knockdown screening that generates a map of target interactions through systematic iterations of in silico prediction of targets and their experimental validation. An initial RNAi knockdown screening of MCF-7 human breast cancer cells targeting 6560 proteins identified four signaling molecules required for their fulvestrant-induced apoptosis. Signaling molecules physically or functionally interacting with these four primary node targets were computationally predicted and experimentally validated, resulting in identification of four second-generation nodes. Three rounds of further iterations of the prediction–validation cycle generated third, fourth and fifth generation of nodes, completing a 19-node interaction map that contained three predicted nodes but without experimental validation because of technical limitations. The interaction map involved all three members of the death-associated protein kinases (DAPKs) as well as their upstream and downstream signaling molecules (calmodulins and myosin light chain kinases), suggesting that DAPKs play critical roles in the cytocidal action of fulvestrant. The in silico Kaplan–Meier analysis of previously reported human breast cancer cohorts demonstrated significant prognostic predictive power for five of the experimentally validated nodes and for three of the prediction-only nodes. Immunohistochemical studies on the expression of 10 nodal proteins in human breast cancer tissues not only supported their prognostic prediction power but also provided statistically significant evidence of their synchronized expression, implying functional interactions among these nodal proteins. Thus, the Nodes-and-Connections approach to RNAi knockdown screening yields biologically meaningful outcomes by taking advantage of the existing knowledge of the physical and functional interactions between the predicted target genes. The resulting interaction maps provide useful information on signaling pathways cooperatively involved in clinically important features of the malignant cells, such as drug resistance.
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