Checkpoint kinase 1 (CHK1) is an integral component of the cell cycle as well as the DNA Damage Response (DDR) pathway. Previous work has demonstrated the effectiveness of inhibiting CHK1 with small-molecule inhibitors, but the role of CHK1 mediated DDR in medulloblastoma is unknown. CHK1, both at the mRNA and protein level, is highly expressed in medulloblastoma and elevated CHK1 expression in Group3 medulloblastoma is an adverse prognostic marker. CHK1 inhibition with the small-molecule drug AZD7762, results in decreased cell growth, increased DNA damage and cell apoptosis. Furthermore, AZD7762 acts in synergy with cisplatin in reducing cell proliferation in medulloblastoma. Similar phenotypic changes were observed with another CHK1 inhibitor, PF477736, as well as genetic knockdown using siRNA against CHK1. Treatments with small-molecule inhibitors of CHK1 profoundly modulated the expression of both upstream and downstream target proteins within the CHK1 signaling pathways. This suggests the presence of a feedback loop in activating CHK1. Overall, our results demonstrate that small-molecule inhibition of CHK1 in combination with, cisplatin, is more advantageous than either treatment alone, especially for Group 3 medulloblastoma, and therefore this combined therapeutic approach serves as an avenue for further investigation.
Keywords: CHK1; Myc; medulloblastoma.