Targeting BRCA1 localization to augment breast tumor sensitivity to poly(ADP-Ribose) polymerase inhibition

Eddy S. Yang, Somaira Nowsheen, Mohammad A. Rahman, Rebecca S. Cook, Fen Xia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


PARP inhibitors have gained recent attention due to their highly selective killing of BRCA1/2-mutated and DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair-deficient tumors. Unfortunately, the majority of sporadic breast cancers carry wild-type BRCA1/2 and are proficient in DSB repair. We and others have shown that BRCA1 is a nuclear/ cytoplasm shuttling protein that is transiently exported from the nucleus to the cytosol upon various stimuli. Thus, we hypothesized that depletion of nuclear BRCA1 would compromise DSB repair and subsequently render sporadic tumors susceptible to PARP inhibition. Indeed, in human sporadic breast cancer cells with functional BRCA1 and proficient DSB repair, a transient nuclear depletion of BRCA1 and subsequent homologous recombination repair deficit was induced with either truncated BRCA1 or irradiation. This rendered these human sporadic breast cancer cells susceptible to PARP inhibition. These observations were confirmed genetically using mislocated BRCA1 mutants as well as in vivo in mice bearing breast tumor xenografts. These data support the potential strategy of targeting BRCA1 location to convert BRCA1-proficient sporadic tumors to be susceptible to the synthetic lethal combination with PARP inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5547-5555
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Research
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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