Folate-mediated one-carbon metabolism is essential for growth and survival of cancer cells. We investigated whether the response of cancer cells to antitumor treatment may be partially influenced by variation in expression of one-carbon metabolism genes. We used cancer cell line information from the Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia and the Genomics of Drug Sensitivity in Cancer resources to examine whether variation in pretreatment expression of one-carbon metabolism-related genes was associated with response to treatment. GART, TYMS, SHMT2, MTR, ALDH2, BHMT, MAT2B, MTHFD2, NNMT, and SLC46A1 showed modest statistically significant correlations with response to a variety of antitumor agents. Higher expression levels of SLC46A1 were associated with resistance to multiple agents, whereas elevated expression of GART, TYMS, SHMT2, MTR, BHMT, and MAT2B was associated with chemosensitivity to multiple drugs. NNMT expression was bimodally distributed and showed different directions of association with various agents. Correlation of increased NNMT expression with sensitivity to dasatinib was validated in the NCI-60 cancer cell line panel. Pretreatment expression levels were correlated among many one-carbon metabolism genes. Expression of several folate genes was strongly associated with expression of multiple components of drug target pathways. Molecular mechanisms underlying associations of one-carbon metabolism gene with drug response require further investigation.
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