Cisplatin Resistance in Osteosarcoma: In vitro Validation of Candidate DNA Repair-Related Therapeutic Targets and Drugs for Tailored Treatments

Marilù Fanelli, Elisa Tavanti, Maria Pia Patrizio, Serena Vella, Amira Fernandez-Ramos, Federica Magagnoli, Silvia Luppi, Claudia Maria Hattinger, Massimo Serra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Treatment of high-grade osteosarcoma, the most common malignant tumor of bone, is largely based on administration of cisplatin and other DNA damaging drugs. Altered DNA repair mechanisms may thus significantly impact on either response or resistance to chemotherapy. In this study, by using a panel of human osteosarcoma cell lines, either sensitive or resistant to cisplatin, we assessed the value as candidate therapeutic targets of DNA repair-related factors belonging to the nucleotide excision repair (NER) or base excision repair (BER) pathways, as well as of a group of 18 kinases, which expression was higher in cisplatin-resistant variants compared to their parental cell lines and may be indirectly involved in DNA repair. The causal involvement of these factors in cisplatin resistance of human osteosarcoma cells was validated through gene silencing approaches and in vitro reversal of CDDP resistance. This approach highlighted a subgroup of genes, which value as promising candidate therapeutic targets was further confirmed by protein expression analyses. The in vitro activity of 15 inhibitor drugs against either these genes or their pathways was then analyzed, in order to identify the most active ones in terms of inherent activity and ability to overcome cisplatin resistance. NSC130813 (NERI02; F06) and triptolide, both targeting NER factors, proved to be the two most active agents, without evidence of cross-resistance with cisplatin. Combined in vitro treatments showed that NSC130813 and triptolide, when administered together with cisplatin, were able to improve its efficacy in both drug-sensitive and resistant osteosarcoma cells. This evidence may indicate an interesting therapeutic future option for treatment of osteosarcoma patients who present reduced responsiveness to cisplatin, even if possible effects of additive collateral toxicities must be carefully considered. Moreover, our study also showed that targeting protein kinases belonging to the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) or fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) pathways might indicate new promising therapeutic perspectives in osteosarcoma, demanding for additional investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
Publication statusPublished - Mar 10 2020


  • DNA repair
  • chemotherapy
  • cisplatin
  • drug resistance
  • osteosarcoma
  • tailored treatment
  • targeted drugs


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