HNF4A and GATA6 Loss Reveals Therapeutically Actionable Subtypes in Pancreatic Cancer
51 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2019 Publication Status: PublishedMore...
The identification of molecularly defined subgroups of Pancreatic ductal Adenocarcinoma (PDAC) has the potential to transform clinical practice. There is now a growing consensus that PDAC can be divided into transcriptomic subtypes with 2 broad linages referred to as Classical (Pancreatic) and Squamous. We find that these two subtypes are driven by distinct metabolic phenotypes. Loss of genes that drive endodermal linage specification, HNF4A and GATA6, switch metabolic profiles from Classical (Pancreatic) to predominantly Squamous, with GSK3B a key regulator of glycolysis. Pharmacological inhibition of GSK3B results in selective sensitivity in the Squamous subtype, however a subset of these Squamous PDCLs acquired rapid drug tolerance. Using chromatin accessibility maps, we identify subtype specific chromatin landscapes and unique promoter usage between subpopulations of Squamous PDCLs can affect drug tolerance. Our findings demonstrate that a chromatin-based framework can be used to identify subtypes of PDAC that are indistinguishable by gene expression profiles which could refine patient selection for precision medicine.
Keywords: PDAC-subtypes, HNF4a, GATA6, metabolic-targeting, Gsk3b, distal-promoters, chromatin-landscapes, therapeutic-tolerance
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