A high-throughput screen identifies PARP1/2 inhibitors as a potential therapy for ERCC1-deficient non-small cell lung cancer

Oncogene. 2013 Nov 21;32(47):5377-87. doi: 10.1038/onc.2013.311. Epub 2013 Aug 12.


Excision repair cross-complementation group 1 (ERCC1) is a DNA repair enzyme that is frequently defective in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Although low ERCC1 expression correlates with platinum sensitivity, the clinical effectiveness of platinum therapy is limited, highlighting the need for alternative treatment strategies. To discover new mechanism-based therapeutic strategies for ERCC1-defective tumours, we performed high-throughput drug screens in an isogenic NSCLC model of ERCC1 deficiency and dissected the mechanism underlying ERCC1-selective effects by studying molecular biomarkers of tumour cell response. The high-throughput screens identified multiple clinical poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 and 2 (PARP1/2) inhibitors, such as olaparib (AZD-2281), niraparib (MK-4827) and BMN 673, as being selective for ERCC1 deficiency. We observed that ERCC1-deficient cells displayed a significant delay in double-strand break repair associated with a profound and prolonged G₂/M arrest following PARP1/2 inhibitor treatment. Importantly, we found that ERCC1 isoform 202, which has recently been shown to mediate platinum sensitivity, also modulated PARP1/2 sensitivity. A PARP1/2 inhibitor-synthetic lethal siRNA screen revealed that ERCC1 deficiency was epistatic with homologous recombination deficiency. However, ERCC1-deficient cells did not display a defect in RAD51 foci formation, suggesting that ERCC1 might be required to process PARP1/2 inhibitor-induced DNA lesions before DNA strand invasion. PARP1 silencing restored PARP1/2 inhibitor resistance in ERCC1-deficient cells but had no effect in ERCC1-proficient cells, supporting the hypothesis that PARP1 might be required for the ERCC1 selectivity of PARP1/2 inhibitors. This study suggests that PARP1/2 inhibitors as a monotherapy could represent a novel therapeutic strategy for NSCLC patients with ERCC1-deficient tumours.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / drug therapy*
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • DNA Breaks, Double-Stranded / drug effects
  • DNA Repair
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • Endonucleases / genetics*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • G2 Phase Cell Cycle Checkpoints / drug effects
  • High-Throughput Screening Assays
  • Humans
  • Indazoles / pharmacology
  • Indazoles / therapeutic use
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Phthalazines / pharmacology
  • Phthalazines / therapeutic use*
  • Piperazines / pharmacology
  • Piperazines / therapeutic use
  • Piperidines / pharmacology
  • Piperidines / therapeutic use
  • Poly (ADP-Ribose) Polymerase-1
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerase Inhibitors*
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases
  • Protein Isoforms
  • RNA Interference
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Rad51 Recombinase / metabolism


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Indazoles
  • Phthalazines
  • Piperazines
  • Piperidines
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerase Inhibitors
  • Protein Isoforms
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • talazoparib
  • PARP1 protein, human
  • PARP2 protein, human
  • Poly (ADP-Ribose) Polymerase-1
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases
  • RAD51 protein, human
  • Rad51 Recombinase
  • ERCC1 protein, human
  • Endonucleases
  • niraparib
  • olaparib