RARG S427L attenuates the DNA repair response to doxorubicin in induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes

Stem Cell Reports. 2022 Apr 12;17(4):756-765. doi: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2022.03.002. Epub 2022 Mar 31.


Doxorubicin is a commonly used chemotherapeutic drug, but its use is limited by doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity (DIC), which can lead to irreversible heart failure and death. A missense variant rs2229774 (p.S427L) in the retinoic acid receptor gamma (RARG) gene is associated with increased susceptibility to DIC, but the precise mechanism underlying this association is incompletely understood. We performed molecular dynamic simulations to determine the effect of this variant on RARG structure and then validated these predictions using CRISPR-Cas9-genome-edited, induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (iPSC-CMs). We found that this variant leads to reduced activation of its target genes in response to doxorubicin, including gene pathways involved in DNA repair and consequently an inability to mediate DNA repair after exposure to doxorubicin. Our findings establish a role of RARG p.S427L in attenuating DNA repair in DIC and provide insight into the pathogenesis of this cardiotoxic effect.

Keywords: DNA repair; RARG; cardiomyocyte; cardiotoxicity; doxorubicin; iPSC; pharmacogenomics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / pharmacology
  • Cardiotoxicity
  • DNA Repair
  • Dacarbazine / metabolism
  • Dacarbazine / pharmacology
  • Doxorubicin / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells*
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / metabolism


  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Dacarbazine
  • Doxorubicin