Systematic Analysis of Aberrant Biochemical Networks and Potential Drug Vulnerabilities Induced by Tumor Suppressor Loss in Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

Cancers 2020 August 17 [Link]

Haitang Yang, Duo Xu, Zhang Yang, Feng Yao, Heng Zhao, Ralph A Schmid, Ren-Wang Peng


Background: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is driven by the inactivation of tumor suppressor genes (TSGs). An unmet need in the field is the translation of the genomic landscape into effective TSG-specific therapies. Methods: We correlated genomes against transcriptomes of patients’ MPM tumors, by weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA). The identified aberrant biochemical networks and potential drug targets induced by tumor suppressor loss were validated by integrative data analysis and functional interrogation. Results: CDKN2A/2B loss activates G2/M checkpoint and PI3K/AKT, prioritizing a co-targeting strategy for CDKN2A/2B-null MPM. CDKN2A deficiency significantly co-occurs with deletions of anti-viral type I interferon (IFN-I) genes and BAP1 mutations, that enriches the IFN-I signature, stratifying a unique subset, with deficient IFN-I, but proficient BAP1 for oncolytic viral immunotherapies. Aberrant p53 attenuates differentiation and SETD2 loss acquires the dependency on EGFRs, highlighting the potential of differentiation therapy and pan-EGFR inhibitors for these subpopulations, respectively. LATS2 deficiency is linked with dysregulated immunoregulation, suggesting a rationale for immune checkpoint blockade. Finally, multiple lines of evidence support Dasatinib as a promising therapeutic for LATS2-mutant MPM. Conclusions: Systematic identification of abnormal cellular processes and potential drug vulnerabilities specified by TSG alterations provide a framework for precision oncology in MPM.