UBC Faculty Research and Publications

A Potential Role for HUWE1 in Modulating Cisplatin Sensitivity Wenmaekers, Stijn; Viergever, Bastiaan J.; Kumar, Gunjan; Kranenburg, Onno; Black, Peter C.; Daugaard, Mads; Meijer, Richard P.


Cisplatin is a widely used antineoplastic agent, whose efficacy is limited by primary and acquired therapeutic resistance. Recently, a bladder cancer genome-wide CRISPR/Cas9 knock-out screen correlated cisplatin sensitivity to multiple genetic biomarkers. Among the screen’s top hits was the HECT domain-containing ubiquitin E3 ligase (HUWE1). In this review, HUWE1 is postulated as a therapeutic response modulator, affecting the collision between platinum-DNA adducts and the replication fork, the primary cytotoxic action of platins. HUWE1 can alter the cytotoxic response to platins by targeting essential components of the DNA damage response including BRCA1, p53, and Mcl-1. Deficiency of HUWE1 could lead to enhanced DNA damage repair and a dysfunctional apoptotic apparatus, thereby inducing resistance to platins. Future research on the relationship between HUWE1 and platins could generate new mechanistic insights into therapy resistance. Ultimately, HUWE1 might serve as a clinical biomarker to tailor cancer treatment strategies, thereby improving cancer care and patient outcomes.

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