DNA repair aberrations and associated chromosomal instability is a feature of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). To evaluate if DNA repair insufficiencies are related to methylation changes, we examined the methylation of nine promoter regions of DNA repair proteins by bisulfide sequencing in 26 CLL primary samples and performed quantitative PCR on a subset of samples to examine BRCA1 expression. We also investigated if changes in cytogenetic or expression level of DNA repair proteins led to changes in sensitivity to a novel PARP inhibitor, CEP-8983, alone and in combination with bendamustine. No changes in promoter methylation were identified in BRCA1, BRCA2, FANC-C, FANC-F, FANC-L, ATM, MGMT, hMLH1 and H2AX except for two cases of minor BRCA1 hypermethylation. CLL samples appeared to have reduced BRCA1 mRNA expression uniformly in comparison to non-malignant lymphocytes irrespective of promoter hypermethylation. CEP-8983 displayed single agent cytotoxicity and the combination with bendamustine demonstrated synergistic cytotoxicity in the majority of CLL samples. These results were consistent across cytogenetic subgroups, including 17p deleted and previously treated patients. Our results provide rationale for further exploration of the combination of a PARP inhibitor and DNA damaging agents as a novel therapeutic strategy in CLL.
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
- Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research