Purpose: The DNA mismatch repair (MMR) pathway is required for the maintenance of genome stability. Unsurprisingly, mutations in MMR genes occur in a wide range of different cancers. Studies thus far have largely focused on specific tumor types or MMR mutations; however, it is becoming increasingly clear that a therapy targeting MMR deficiency in general would be clinically very beneficial.
Experimental Design: Based on a drug-repositioning approach, we screened a large panel of cell lines with various MMR deficiencies from a range of different tumor types with a compound drug library of previously approved drugs. We have identified the potassium-sparing diuretic drug triamterene, as a novel sensitizing agent in MMR-deficient tumor cells, in vitro and in vivo.
Results: The selective tumor cell cytotoxicity of triamterene occurs through its antifolate activity and depends on the activity of the folate synthesis enzyme thymidylate synthase. Triamterene leads to a thymidylate synthase-dependent differential increase in reactive oxygen species in MMR-deficient cells, ultimately resulting in an increase in DNA double-strand breaks.
Conclusions: Conclusively, our data reveal a new drug repurposing and novel therapeutic strategy that has potential for the treatment of MMR deficiency in a range of different tumor types and could significantly improve patient survival. Clin Cancer Res; 1–11. ©2016 AACR.
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Clinical Cancer Research Online (http://clincancerres.aacrjournals.org/).
- Received May 12, 2016.
- Revision received November 17, 2016.
- Accepted November 21, 2016.
- ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.