Identification of synthetic chemosensitivity genes paired with BRAF for BRAF/MAPK inhibitors

Kye Hwa Lee, Jinmin Goh, Yi Jun Kim, Kwangsoo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Molecular-targeted approaches are important for personalised cancer treatment, which requires knowledge regarding drug target specificity. Here, we used the synthetic lethality concept to identify candidate gene pairs with synergistic effects on drug responses. A synergistic chemo-sensitivity response was identified if a drug had a significantly lower half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) in cell lines with a pair of mutated genes compared with those in other cell lines (wild-type or one mutated gene). Among significantly damaging mutations in the Genomics of Drug Sensitivity in Cancer database, we found 580 candidate synergistic chemo-sensitivity interaction sets for 456 genes and 54 commercial drugs. Clustering analyses according to drug/gene and drug/tissue interactions showed that BRAF/MAPK inhibitors clustered together; 11 partner genes for BRAF were identified. The combined effects of these partners on IC50 values were significant for both drug-specific and drug-combined comparisons. Survival analysis using The Cancer Genome Atlas data showed that patients who had mutated gene pairs in synergistic interaction sets had longer overall survival compared with that in patients with other mutation profiles. Overall, this analysis demonstrated that synergistic drug-responsive gene pairs could be successfully used as predictive markers of drug sensitivity and patient survival, offering new targets for personalised medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20001
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2020


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