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Transformative discoveries in genome and cellular integrity


Targeting BRCA1 and BRCA2 Deficiencies with G-Quadruplex-Interacting Compounds.

Zimmer J, Tacconi EM, Folio C, Badie S, Porru M, Klare K, Tumiati M, Markkanen E, Halder S, Ryan A, Jackson SP, Ramadan K, Kuznetsov SG, Biroccio A, Sale JE, Tarsounas M. Molecular Cell 61,  449-460.

G-quadruplex (G4)-forming genomic sequences, including telomeres, represent natural replication fork barriers. Stalled replication forks can be stabilized and restarted by homologous recombination (HR), which also repairs DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) arising at collapsed forks. We have previously shown that HR facilitates telomere replication. Here, we demonstrate that the replication efficiency of guanine-rich (G-rich) telomeric repeats is decreased significantly in cells lacking HR. Treatment with the G4-stabilizing compound pyridostatin (PDS) increases telomere fragility in BRCA2-deficient cells, suggesting that G4 formation drives telomere instability. Remarkably, PDS reduces proliferation of HR-defective cells by inducing DSB accumulation, checkpoint activation, and deregulated G2/M progression and by enhancing the replication defect intrinsic to HR deficiency. PDS toxicity extends to HR-defective cells that have acquired olaparib resistance through loss of 53BP1 or REV7. Altogether, these results highlight the therapeutic potential of G4-stabilizing drugs to selectively eliminate HR-compromised cells and tumors, including those resistant to PARP inhibition.

Kate Dry