Rational Combination of CRM1 Inhibitor Selinexor and Olaparib Shows Synergy in Ovarian Cancer Cell Lines and Mouse Models

Mol Cancer Ther. 2021 Dec;20(12):2352-2361. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-21-0370. Epub 2021 Sep 28.


CRM1 inhibitors have demonstrated antitumor effects in ovarian and other cancers; however, rational combinations are largely unexplored. We performed a high-throughput drug library screen to identify drugs that might combine well with selinexor in ovarian cancer. Next, we tested the combination of selinexor with the top hit from the drug screen in vitro and in vivo Finally, we assessed for mechanisms underlying the identified synergy using reverse phase protein arrays (RPPA). The drug library screen assessing 688 drugs identified olaparib (a PARP inhibitor) as the most synergistic combination with selinexor. Synergy was further demonstrated by MTT assays. In the A2780luc ip1 mouse model, the combination of selinexor and olaparib yielded significantly lower tumor weight and fewer tumor nodules compared with the control group (P < 0.04 and P < 0.03). In the OVCAR5 mouse model, the combination yielded significantly fewer nodules (P = 0.006) and markedly lower tumor weight compared with the control group (P = 0.059). RPPA analysis indicated decreased expression of DNA damage repair proteins and increased expression of tumor suppressor proteins in the combination treatment group. Collectively, our preclinical findings indicate that combination with selinexor to expand the utility and efficacy of PARP inhibitors in ovarian cancer warrants further exploration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • High-Throughput Screening Assays / methods*
  • Humans
  • Hydrazines / pharmacology
  • Hydrazines / therapeutic use*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Phthalazines / pharmacology
  • Phthalazines / therapeutic use*
  • Piperazines / pharmacology
  • Piperazines / therapeutic use*
  • Triazoles / pharmacology
  • Triazoles / therapeutic use*


  • Hydrazines
  • Phthalazines
  • Piperazines
  • Triazoles
  • selinexor
  • olaparib