Computational pharmacogenomic screen identifies drugs that potentiate the anti-breast cancer activity of statins

1 1 Penn Lab
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DOI: 10.1038/s41467-022-33144-9


van Leeuwen J. E., Ba-Alawi W., Branchard E., Cruickshank J., Schormann W., Longo J., Silvester J., Gross P.L., Andrews D.W., Cescon D.W., Haibe-Kains B., Penn L.Z., Gendoo D. M. A.

Statins, a family of FDA-approved cholesterol-lowering drugs that inhibit the rate-limiting enzyme of the mevalonate metabolic pathway, have demonstrated anticancer activity. Evidence shows that dipyridamole potentiates statin-induced cancer cell death by blocking a restorative feedback loop triggered by statin treatment. Leveraging this knowledge, we develop an integrative pharmacogenomics pipeline to identify compounds similar to dipyridamole at the level of drug structure, cell sensitivity and molecular perturbation. To overcome the complex polypharmacology of dipyridamole, we focus our pharmacogenomics pipeline on mevalonate pathway genes, which we name mevalonate drug-network fusion (MVA-DNF). We validate topranked compounds, nelfinavir and honokiol, and identify that low expression of the canonical epithelial cell marker, E-cadherin, is associated with statincompound synergy. Analysis of remaining prioritized hits led to the validation of additional compounds, clotrimazole and vemurafenib. Thus, our computational pharmacogenomic approach identifies actionable compounds with pathway-specific activities.