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ADP-ribosyltransferases promote repair of DNA single strand breaks and disruption of this pathway by Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors (PARPi) is toxic to cells with defects in homologous recombination (HR). Here, we show that this relationship is conserved in the simple eukaryote Dictyostelium and exploit this organism to define mechanisms that drive resistance of the HR-deficient cells to PARPi. Dictyostelium cells disrupted in exonuclease I, a critical factor for HR, are sensitive to PARPi. Deletion of exo1 prevents the accumulation of Rad51 in chromatin induced by PARPi, resulting in DNA damage being channelled through repair by non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ). Inactivation of NHEJ supresses the sensitivity of exo1- cells to PARPi, indicating this pathway drives synthetic lethality and that in its absence alternative repair mechanisms promote cell survival. This resistance is independent of alternate-NHEJ and is instead achieved by re-activation of HR. Moreover, inhibitors of Mre11 restore sensitivity of dnapkcs-exo1- cells to PARPi, indicating redundancy between nucleases that initiate HR can drive PARPi resistance. These data inform on mechanism of PARPi resistance in HR-deficient cells and present Dictyostelium as a convenient genetic model to characterize these pathways.

Original publication




Journal article


Nucleic Acids Res

Publication Date





10056 - 10067


ADP Ribose Transferases, Benzamides, Clone Cells, Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 8, DNA Damage, Dictyostelium, Drug Resistance, Exodeoxyribonucleases, Gene Deletion, Homologous Recombination, Indoles, Phthalazines, Piperazines, Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerase Inhibitors, Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases, Protozoan Proteins, Quinazolines, Rad51 Recombinase, Recombinant Proteins