POLD1 Is Required for Cell Cycle Progression by Overcoming DNA Damage in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

Cancer Genomics & Proteomics 2024 March-April [Link]

Daiki Shimizu, Miku Ishibashi, Tadaaki Yamada, Yuki Toda, Shigekuni Hosogi, Eishi Ashihara


Background/aim: The prognosis of patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) remains poor due to lack of effective therapeutic targets. DNA damage caused by long-time exposure to asbestos fibers has been associated with the development of MPM, with mutations at genes encoding DNA damage repair (DDR)-related molecules frequently expressed in patients with MPM. The present study was designed to identify novel therapeutic targets in MPM using large public databases, such as The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and Genotype Tissue Expression project (GTEx) focused on DDR pathways.

Materials and methods: The correlations between mRNA expression levels of DDR-related genes and overall survival (OS) were analyzed in mesothelioma patients in TCGA mesothelioma (TCGA-MESO) datasets. The anti-tumor effects of small interfering RNAs (siRNA) against DDR-related genes associated with OS were subsequently tested in MPM cell lines.

Results: High levels of mRNA encoding DNA polymerase delta 1, catalytic subunit (POLD1) were significantly associated with reduced OS in patients with MPM (p<0.001, Log-rank test). In addition, siRNA targeting POLD1 (siPOLD1) caused cell cycle arrest at the G1/S checkpoint and induced apoptosis involving accumulation of DNA damage in MPM cell lines.

Conclusion: POLD1 plays essential roles in overcoming DNA damage and cell cycle progression at the G1/S checkpoint in MPM cells. These findings suggest that POLD1 may be a novel therapeutic target in MPM.