Use of yeast chemigenomics and coxen informatics in preclinical evaluation of anticancer agents

Steven C. Smith, Dmytro M. Havaleshko, Kihyuck Moon, Alexander S. Baras, Jae Lee, Stefan Bekiranov, Daniel J. Burke, Dan Theodorescu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Bladder cancer metastasis is virtually incurable with current platinum-based chemotherapy. We used the novel COXEN informatic approach for in silico drug discovery and identified NSC 637993 and NSC-645809 (C1311), both imidazoacridinones, as agents with high-predicted activity in human bladder cancer. Because even highly effective monotherapy is unlikely to cure most patients with metastasis and NSC-645809 is undergoing clinical trials in other tumor types, we sought to develop the basis for use of C1311 in rational combination with other agents in bladder cancer. Here, we demonstrate in 40 human bladder cancer cells that the in vitro cytotoxicity profile for C1311 correlates with that of NSC-637993 and compares favorably to that of standard of care chemotherapeutics. Using genomewide patterns of synthetic lethality of C1311 with open reading frame knockouts in budding yeast, we determined that combining C1311 with a taxane could provide mechanistically rational combinations. To determine the preclinical relevance of these yeast findings, we evaluated C1311 singly and in doublet combination with paclitaxel in human bladder cancer in the in vivo hollow fiber assay and observed efficacy. By applying COXEN to gene expression data from 40 bladder cancer cell lines and 30 human tumors with associated clinical response data to platinum-based chemotherapy, we provide evidence that signatures of C1311 sensitivity exist within nonresponders to this regimen. Coupling COXEN and yeast chemigenomics provides rational combinations with C1311 and tumor genomic signatures that can be used to select bladder cancer patients for clinical trials with this agent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-80
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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