Background: The incidence of adenocarcinoma of the esophagus and gastroesophageal junction (EAC) has grown faster than any tumor type in the United States and westernized countries, outpacing the next closest cancer by almost 3 times. This rising incidence of EAC is associated with the increasing prevalence of obesity and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Due to the limited effect of current chemotherapy for this cancer, the search for new therapeutic targets is disparately needed. Chromosomal amplification is one mechanism by which cancer cells acquire and maintain neoplastic phenotype and genes that are amplified and overexpressed may represent potential therapeutic targets. Methods: DNA and RNA from a cohort of 116 patients were analyzed using SNP and mRNA expression microarrays respectively. Gene amplification was explored for correlation with expression and patient survival. Results: 25% of tumors harbor amplification at chromosome 1q which is significantly associated with poor survival. Although the amplicon is non-focal spanning almost the entire arm of chromosome 1q, only a subset of amplified genes (including The CDC28 protein kinase subunit 1B, CKS1B) are significantly overexpressed. CKS1B is an auxiliary protein required for ubiquitination and cytosomal degradation of the CDK inhibitors p27Kip1 and p21Cip1/Waf1 by the SCFSKP2 E3 ubiquitin ligase complex. Both p27Kip1 and p21Cip1/Waf1 inhibits CDK2/Cyclin E complex during the G1/S cell cycle transition. The endogenous protein expression of p27Kip1 is low among EAC cell lines. However the expression of p21Cip1/Waf1 is differential being very high in a subset of cells and low or undetectable in others. Knocking down CKS1B by siRNA in six EAC cell lines results in accumulation of p27 Kip1 with little or no effect on p21Cip1/Waf1 expression. CKS1B knockdown inhibits monolayer cell proliferation only in cells with high endogenous expression of p21Cip1/Waf1. Conclusion: We suggest that the combined action of accumulation of p27 Kip1 and the endogenously highly expressed p21Cip1/Waf1 triggers the response to CKS1B knockdown in EAC cell lines. We thus propose the potential use of CKS1B as a novel therapeutic target in esophageal adenocarcinomas with high p21Cip1/Waf1 expression.

Citation Format: {Authors}. {Abstract title} [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 103rd Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2012 Mar 31-Apr 4; Chicago, IL. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2012;72(8 Suppl):Abstract nr 3051. doi:1538-7445.AM2012-3051