Therapeutic targeting of estrogen receptor-α (ERα) by the anti-estrogen tamoxifen is standard of care for premenopausal breast cancer patients and remains a key component of treatment strategies for postmenopausal patients. While tamoxifen significantly increases overall survival, tamoxifen resistance remains a major limitation despite continued expression of ERα in resistant tumors. Previous reports have described increased oxidative stress in tamoxifen resistant versus sensitive breast cancer and a role for PARP1 in mediating oxidative damage repair. We hypothesized that PARP1 activity mediated tamoxifen resistance in ERα-positive breast cancer and that combining the antiestrogen tamoxifenwith a PARP1 inhibitor (PARPi)would sensitize tamoxifen resistant cells to tamoxifen therapy. In tamoxifen-resistant vs. -sensitive breast cancer cells, oxidative stress and PARP1 overexpression were increased. Furthermore, differential PARylation of ERα was observed in tamoxifen-resistant versus -sensitive cells, and ERα PARylation was increased by tamoxifen treatment. Loss of ERα PARylation following treatment with a PARP inhibitor (talazoparib) augmented tamoxifen sensitivity and decreased localization of both ERα and PARP1 to ERα-target genes. Co-administration of talazoparib plus tamoxifen increased DNA damage accumulation and decreased cell survival in a dose-dependent manner. The ability of PARPi to overcome tamoxifen resistance was dependent on ERα, as lack of ERα-mediated estrogen signaling expression and showed no response to tamoxifen-PARPi treatment. These results correlate ERα PARylationwith tamoxifen resistance and indicate a novelmechanism-based approach to overcome tamoxifen resistance in ER+ breast cancer.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was funded by NIH, grant number 5R01CA182832-05.
- Antiestrogen resistance
- Breast cancer
- Estrogen receptor
- PARP inhibitor