Research Papers:

KLHL5 knockdown increases cellular sensitivity to anticancer drugs

Robert J. Schleifer, Shuchun Li, Wyatt Nechtman, Eric Miller, Shan Bai, Ashok Sharma and Jin-Xiong She _

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:37429-37438. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.26462

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Robert J. Schleifer1, Shuchun Li1, Wyatt Nechtman1, Eric Miller1, Shan Bai1, Ashok Sharma1,2 and Jin-Xiong She1,3

1Center for Biotechnology and Genomic Medicine, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University, Augusta, GA 30912, USA

2Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University, Augusta, GA 30912, USA

3Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University, Augusta, GA 30912, USA

Correspondence to:

Jin-Xiong She, email: [email protected]

Keywords: KLHL; KLHL5; cell cycle; combined therapy; synergistic effects

Received: February 19, 2018     Accepted: December 05, 2018     Published: December 21, 2018


KLHL family genes are noted for their involvement in the E3 ligase ubiquitination pathway through binding with Cullin-3 (CUL3) resulting in degradation of specific binding partners. KLHLs are thus intriguing genes for cancer as they can directly influence the degradation of therapeutically relevant cell cycle regulators such as Aurora Kinase, PLK1, or CDK1. However, most KLHL family members remain understudied within the literature. This study explores the relationship of expression of KLHL member, KLHL5, with the pharmacologic effect of anti-cancer drugs. KLHL5 knockdown decreased the proliferation and viability of cancer cells and sensitized cancer cells to numerous anti-cancer drugs. Drugs related to cell cycle including Akt/PI3K/mTOR inhibitors were especially sensitized by KLHL5 knockdown. The potential of KLHL5 as a prognostic or diagnostic cancer marker was compared to other KLHLs through a pan-cancer study of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) tumor groups. While KLHL5 expression shows marginal dysregulation in cancer, other KLHLs exhibit significant dysregulation in all cancer types, and exceptionally in renal carcinomas. This study advocates for further study of KLHLs as potential alternative therapeutic targets, since while KLHL5 is a novel gene impacting anticancer drug effects, others may have a similar impact on drug effect while having greater potential as diagnostic or prognostic markers.

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