CRISPR screens reveal genetic determinants of PARP inhibitor sensitivity and resistance in prostate cancer

Nat Commun. 2023 Jan 17;14(1):252. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-35880-y.


Prostate cancer harboring BRCA1/2 mutations are often exceptionally sensitive to PARP inhibitors. However, genomic alterations in other DNA damage response genes have not been consistently predictive of clinical response to PARP inhibition. Here, we perform genome-wide CRISPR-Cas9 knockout screens in BRCA1/2-proficient prostate cancer cells and identify previously unknown genes whose loss has a profound impact on PARP inhibitor response. Specifically, MMS22L deletion, frequently observed (up to 14%) in prostate cancer, renders cells hypersensitive to PARP inhibitors by disrupting RAD51 loading required for homologous recombination repair, although this response is TP53-dependent. Unexpectedly, loss of CHEK2 confers resistance rather than sensitivity to PARP inhibition through increased expression of BRCA2, a target of CHEK2-TP53-E2F7-mediated transcriptional repression. Combined PARP and ATR inhibition overcomes PARP inhibitor resistance caused by CHEK2 loss. Our findings may inform the use of PARP inhibitors beyond BRCA1/2-deficient tumors and support reevaluation of current biomarkers for PARP inhibition in prostate cancer.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents* / pharmacology
  • BRCA1 Protein / metabolism
  • DNA Repair / genetics
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Genes, BRCA2
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / genetics


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • BRCA1 Protein
  • Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerase Inhibitors