Bortezomib is highly effective in the treatment of multiple myeloma; however, emergent drug resistance is common. Consequently, we employed CRISPR targeting 19,052 human genes to identify unbiased targets that contribute to bortezomib resistance. Specifically, we engineered an RPMI8226 multiple myeloma cell line to express Cas9 infected by lentiviral vector CRISPR library and cultured derived cells in doses of bortezomib lethal to parental cells. Sequencing was performed on surviving cells to identify inactivated genes responsible for drug resistance. From two independent whole-genome screens, we selected 31 candidate genes and constructed a second CRISPR sgRNA library, specifically targeting each of these 31 genes with four sgRNAs. After secondary screening for bortezomib resistance, the top 20 "resistance" genes were selected for individual validation. Of these 20 targets, the proteasome regulatory subunit PSMC6 was the only gene validated to reproducibly confer bortezomib resistance. We confirmed that inhibition of chymotrypsin-like proteasome activity by bortezomib was significantly reduced in cells lacking PSMC6. We individually investigated other members of the PSMC group (PSMC1 to 5) and found that deficiency in each of those subunits also imparts bortezomib resistance. We found 36 mutations in 19S proteasome subunits out of 895 patients in the IA10 release of the CoMMpass study (https://themmrf.org). Our findings demonstrate that the PSMC6 subunit is the most prominent target required for bortezomib sensitivity in multiple myeloma cells and should be examined in drug-refractory populations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research