Disruption of cell cycle and DNA damage response pathways are synthetic lethal with Srsf2P95H/+
Palbociclib preferentially targets Srsf2P95H/+ cells
Current strategies to target RNA splicing mutant myeloid cancers proposes targeting the remaining splicing apparatus. This approach has only been modestly sensitizing and is also toxic to non-mutant bearing wild-type cells. To explore potentially exploitable genetic interactions with spliceosome mutations, we combined data mining and functional screening for synthetic lethal interactions with an Srsf2P95H/+ mutation. Analysis of mis-splicing events in a series of both human and murine SRSF2P95H mutant samples across multiple myeloid diseases (AML, MDS, CMML) was performed to identify conserved mis-splicing events. From this analysis, we identified that the cell cycle and DNA repair pathways were overrepresented within the conserved mis-spliced transcript sets. In parallel, to functionally define pathways essential for survival and proliferation of Srsf2P95H/+ cells, we performed a genome-wide CRISPR loss of function screen using Hoxb8 immortalized R26-CreERki/+Srsf2P95H/+ and R26-CreERki/+Srsf2+/+ cell lines. We assessed loss of sgRNA representation at three timepoints: immediately after Srsf2P95H/+ activation, and at one week and two weeks post Srsf2P95H/+ mutation. Pathway analysis demonstrated that the cell cycle and DNA damage response pathways were amongst the top synthetic lethal pathways with Srsf2P95H/+ mutation. Based on the loss of guide RNAs targeting Cdk6, we identified that Palbociclib, a CDK6 inhibitor, showed preferential sensitivity in Srsf2P95H/+ cell lines and in primary non-immortalized lin-cKIT+Sca-1+ cells compared to wild type controls. Our data strongly suggest that the cell cycle and DNA damage response pathways are required for Srsf2P95H/+ cell survival, and that Palbociclib could be an alternative therapeutic option for targeting SRSF2 mutant cancers.