Amplification of the CCNE1 locus on chromosome 19q12 is prevalent in multiple tumour types, particularly in high-grade serous ovarian cancer, uterine tumours and gastro-oesophageal cancers, where high cyclin E levels are associated with genome instability, whole-genome doubling and resistance to cytotoxic and targeted therapies1-4. To uncover therapeutic targets for tumours with CCNE1 amplification, we undertook genome-scale CRISPR-Cas9-based synthetic lethality screens in cellular models of CCNE1 amplification. Here we report that increasing CCNE1 dosage engenders a vulnerability to the inhibition of the PKMYT1 kinase, a negative regulator of CDK1. To inhibit PKMYT1, we developed RP-6306, an orally bioavailable and selective inhibitor that shows single-agent activity and durable tumour regressions when combined with gemcitabine in models of CCNE1 amplification. RP-6306 treatment causes unscheduled activation of CDK1 selectively in CCNE1-overexpressing cells, promoting early mitosis in cells undergoing DNA synthesis. CCNE1 overexpression disrupts CDK1 homeostasis at least in part through an early activation of the MMB-FOXM1 mitotic transcriptional program. We conclude that PKMYT1 inhibition is a promising therapeutic strategy for CCNE1-amplified cancers.
© 2022. The Author(s).