RECQ helicases are a family of enzymes with both over lapping and unique functions. Functional autosomal recessive loss of three members of the family BLM, WRN and RECQL4, results in hereditary human syndromes characterized by cancer predisposition and premature aging, but despite the finding that RECQL5 deficient mice are cancer prone, no such link has been made to human RECQL5. Here we demonstrate that human urothelial carcinoma of the bladder (UCC) has increased expression of RECQL5 compared to normal bladder tissue and that increasing RECQL5 expression can drive proliferation of normal bladder cells and is associated with poor prognosis. Further, by expressing a helicase dead RECQL5 and by depleting bladder cancer cells of RECQL5 we show that inhibition of RECQL5 activity has potential as a new target for treatment of UCC.
Keywords: RECQL5; bladder cancer; helicase; targeted therapy.