Although poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors are active in homologous recombination (HR)-deficient cancers, their utility is limited by acquired resistance after restoration of HR. Here, we report that dinaciclib, an inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) 1, 2, 5, and 9, additionally has potent activity against CDK12, a transcriptional regulator of HR. In BRCA-mutated triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells and patient-derived xenografts (PDXs), dinaciclib ablates restored HR and reverses PARP inhibitor resistance. Additionally, we show that de novo resistance to PARP inhibition in BRCA1-mutated cell lines and a PDX derived from a PARP-inhibitor-naive BRCA1 carrier is mediated by residual HR and is reversed by CDK12 inhibition. Finally, dinaciclib augments the degree of response in a PARP-inhibitor-sensitive model, converting tumor growth inhibition to durable regression. These results highlight the significance of HR disruption as a therapeutic strategy and support the broad use of combined CDK12 and PARP inhibition in TNBC.
Keywords: BRCA-associated breast cancer; CDK inhibitor; CDK12; PARP inhibitor; dinaciclib; homologous recombination repair; triple-negative breast cancer.
Copyright Â© 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.