Clinical studies have shown that subsets of cancer patients achieve a significant benefit from Aurora kinase inhibitors, suggesting an urgent need to identify biomarkers for predicting drug response. Chromodomain-helicase-DNA-binding protein 1 (CHD1) is involved in chromatin remodeling, DNA repair, and transcriptional plasticity. Prior studies have demonstrated that CHD1 has distinct expression patterns in cancers with different molecular features, but its impact on drug responsiveness remains understudied. Here, we show that CHD1 promotes the susceptibility of prostate cancer cells to inhibitors targeting Aurora kinases, while depletion of CHD1 impairs their efficacy in vitro and in vivo. Pan-cancer drug sensitivity analyses revealed that high expression of CHD1 was associated with increased sensitivity to Aurora kinase A (AURKA) inhibitors. Mechanistically, KPNA2 served as a direct target of CHD1 and suppressed the interaction of AURKA with the co-activator TPX2, thereby rendering cancer cells more vulnerable to AURKA inhibitors. Consistent with previous research reporting that loss of PTEN elevates CHD1 levels, studies in a genetically engineered mouse model, patient-derived organoids, and patient samples showed that PTEN defects are associated with a better response to AURKA inhibition in advanced prostate cancer. These observations demonstrate that CHD1 plays an important role in modulating Aurora kinases and drug sensitivities, providing new insights into biomarker-driven therapies targeting Aurora kinases for future clinical studies.

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