Scientific publications

Targeting of TMPRSS4 sensitizes lung cancer cells to chemotherapy by impairing the proliferation machinery

Jul 1, 2019 | Magazine: Cancer Letters

Francisco Exposito, Maria Villalba, Miriam Redrado, Arrate L de Aberasturi, Cristina Cirauqui, Esther Redin, Elizabeth Guruceaga, Carlos de Andrea, Silvestre Vicent, Daniel Ajona, Luis M Montuenga, Ruben Pio, Alfonso Calvo


High mortality rates caused by NSCLC show the need for the identification of novel therapeutic targets. In this study we have investigated the biological effects and molecular mechanisms elicited by TMPRSS4 in NSCLC. Overexpression of TMPRSS4 in LKR13 cells increased malignancy, subcutaneous tumor growth and multiorganic metastasis. In conditional knock-down (KD) experiments, abrogation of TMPRSS4 in H358 and H2170 cells altered proliferation, clonogenicity, tumor engraftment and tumor growth. Reduction in S and G2/M phases of the cell cycle, decreased BrdU incorporation and increased apoptosis was also found.

Transcriptomic analysis in KD cells revealed downregulation of genes involved in DNA replication, such as MCM6, TYMS and CDKN1A (p21). In patients, expression of a signature of MCM6/TYMS/TMPRSS4 genes was highly associated with poor prognosis. Downregulation of TMPRSS4 significantly increased sensitivity to chemotherapy agents. In experiments using cisplatin, apoptosis and expression of the DNA-damage marker γ-H2A was higher in cells lacking TMPRSS4.

Moreover, in vivo assays demonstrated that tumors with no TMPRSS4 were significantly more sensitive to cisplatin than controls. These results show that TMPRSS4 can be considered as a novel target in NSCLC, whose inhibition increases chemosensitivity.

CITATION  Cancer Lett. 2019 Jul 1;453:21-33. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2019.03.013. Epub 2019 Mar 21.

Our authors

Francisco Expósito Rincón
Dr. Miriam Redrado Jordán
Laboratory technician Solid Tumor Research Program
Esther Redín Resano
Elizabet Guruceaga Martínez
Bioinformatics Research Technician Bioinformatics Platform
Dr. Daniel Ajona Martínez-Polo