Gene mutations play critical roles during cancer development and progression, and therefore represent targets for precision medicine. Here we recapitulated the pharmacogenomic data to delineate novel candidates for actionable mutations and therapeutic target drugs. As a proof-of-concept, we demonstrated that the loss-of-function of SULF2 by mutation (N491K) or inhibition enhanced sorafenib sensitivity in liver cancer cells and in vivo mouse models. This effect was mediated by deregulation of EGFR signaling and downstream expression of LCN2. We also report that the liver cancer patients non-responding to sorafenib treatment exhibit higher expression of SULF2 and LCN2. In conclusion, we suggest that SULF2 plays a key role in sorafenib susceptibility and resistance in liver cancer via deregulation of LCN2. Diagnostic or therapeutic targeting of SULF2 (e.g., OKN-007) and/or LCN2 can be a novel precision strategy for sorafenib treatment in cancer patients.
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