Synthetic lethal kinases in Ras/p53 mutant squamous cell carcinoma

Russell Moser, Kay E. Gurley, Olga Nikolova, Guangrong Qin, Rashmi Joshi, Eduardo Mendez, Ilya Shmulevich, Amanda Ashley, Carla Grandori, Christopher J. Kemp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The oncogene Ras and the tumor suppressor gene p53 are frequently co-mutated in human cancer and mutations in Ras and p53 can cooperate to generate a more malignant cell state. To discover novel druggable targets for cancers carrying co-mutations in Ras and p53, we performed arrayed, kinome focused siRNA and oncology drug phenotypic screening utilizing a set of syngeneic Ras mutant squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) cell lines that also carried co-mutations in selected p53 pathway genes. These cell lines were derived from SCCs from carcinogen-treated inbred mice which harbored germline deletions or mutations in Trp53, p19Arf, Atm, or Prkdc. Both siRNA and drug phenotypic screening converge to implicate the phosphoinositol kinases, receptor tyrosine kinases, MAP kinases, as well as cell cycle and DNA damage response genes as targetable dependencies in SCC. Differences in functional kinome profiles between Ras mutant cell lines reflect incomplete penetrance of Ras synthetic lethal kinases and indicate that co-mutations cause a rewiring of survival pathways in Ras mutant tumors. This study describes the functional kinomic landscape of Ras/p53 mutant chemically-induced squamous cell carcinoma in both the baseline unperturbed state and following DNA damage and nominates candidate therapeutic targets, including the Nek4 kinase, for further development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3355-3369
Number of pages15
Issue number24
StatePublished - Jun 10 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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