DOI: 10.1093/g3journal/jkae052 ISSN: 2160-1836

Mapping of DDX11 genetic interactions defines sister chromatid cohesion as the major dependency

Leanne Amitzi, Ecaterina Cozma, Amy Hin Yan Tong, Katherine Chan, Catherine Ross, Nigel O’Neil, Jason Moffat, Peter Stirling, Philip Hieter
  • Genetics (clinical)
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology


DDX11/Chl1R is a conserved DNA helicase with roles in genome maintenance, DNA replication, and chromatid cohesion. Loss of DDX11 in humans leads to the rare cohesinopathy Warsaw Breakage Syndrome. DDX11 has also been implicated in human cancer where it has been proposed to have an oncogenic role and possibly to constitute a therapeutic target. Given the multiple roles of DDX11 in genome stability and its potential as an anti-cancer target, we set out to define a complete genetic interaction profile of DDX11 loss in human cell lines. Screening the human genome with CRISPR guideRNA drop out screens in DDX11-WT or DDX11-deficient cells revealed a strong enrichment of genes with functions related to sister chromatid cohesion. We confirm synthetic lethal relationships between DDX11 and the tumour suppressor cohesin subunit STAG2, which is frequently mutated in several cancer types and the kinase HASPIN. This screen highlights the importance of cohesion in cells lacking DDX11 and suggests DDX11 may be a therapeutic target for tumours with mutations in STAG2.

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