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Molecular cancer research : MCR

Systematic siRNA Screen Unmasks NSCLC Growth Dependence by Palmitoyltransferase DHHC5.


PMID 25573953

Abstract

Protein S-palmitoylation is a widespread and dynamic posttranslational modification that regulates protein-membrane interactions, protein-protein interactions, and protein stability. A large family of palmitoyl acyl transferases, termed the DHHC family due to the presence of a common catalytic motif, catalyzes S-palmitoylation; the role of these enzymes in cancer is largely unexplored. In this study, an RNAi-based screen targeting all 23 members of the DHHC family was conducted to examine the effects on the growth in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Interestingly, siRNAs directed against DHHC5 broadly inhibited the growth of multiple NSCLC lines but not normal human bronchial epithelial cell (HBEC) lines. Silencing of DHHC5 by lentivirus-mediated expression of DHHC5 shRNAs dramatically reduced in vitro cell proliferation, colony formation, and cell invasion in a subset of cell lines that were examined in further detail. The phenotypes were restored by transfection of a wild-type DHHC5 plasmid but not by a plasmid expressing a catalytically inactive DHHC5. Tumor xenograft formation was severely inhibited by DHHC5 knockdown and rescued by DHHC5 expression, using both a conventional and tetracycline-inducible shRNA. These data indicate that DHHC5 has oncogenic capacity and contributes to tumor formation in NSCLC, thus representing a potential novel therapeutic target. Inhibitors of DHHC5 enzyme activity may inhibit non-small cell lung cancer growth.