Anglia Ruskin University
Parris_2017_VoR.pdf (1.1 MB)
Download file

The PARP-1 inhibitor Olaparib suppresses BRCA1 protein levels, increases apoptosis and causes radiation hypersensitivity in BRCA1+/- lymphoblastoid cells

Download (1.1 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 2023-07-26, 14:10 authored by Emma C. Bourton, Pia-Amata Ahorner, Piers N. Plowman, Sheba Adam Zahir, Hussein Al-Ali, Christopher N. Parris
The use of polyADPribose polymerase inhibitors in cancer treatment provides a unique opportunity to target DNA repair processes in cancer cells while leaving normal tissue intact. The PARP-1 enzyme repairs DNA single strand breaks (SSB). Therefore PARP-1 inhibition in ¬BRCA1 negative cancers results in the formation of cytotoxic DNA double strand breaks (DSB) causing synthetic lethality. The use of PARP1 inhibitors is gaining momentum in the treatment of a variety of tumours with BRCA1 involvement including breast, ovarian, pancreatic and prostate cancer. Our previous work showed that the PARP-1 inhibitor Olaparib causes both hypersensitivity of BRCA1+/– cells following exposure to gamma radiation due to the persistence of DNA strand breaks in cells, measured by the DNA damage biomarker γ-H2AX. Therefore dual treatment of cancers with radiotherapy and PARP1 inhibition may lead to cases of increased normal tissue toxicity in cancer patients. In this study we exposed two normal lymphoblastoid cell lines and three heterozygous BRCA1 lymphoblastoid cell lines to the PARP-1 inhibitor Olaparib and gamma radiation and after measured BRCA1 protein expression and apoptosis levels following treatment. BRCA1 protein foci analysis was performed on cells exposed to 2 Gy radiation in the presence or absence of 5 μM Olaparib. Using immunofluorescence and imaging flow cytometry, foci were measured in untreated cells and at 0.5, 3, 5 and 24 hours post-irradiation. Exposing normal and BRCA+/- cells to Olaparib followed by gamma radiation results in a dramatic change in BRCA1 protein foci expression, with a significant reduction in BRCA1 protein expression observed in the heterozygote cells, together with an increase in apoptosis levels in these cells. In conclusion, combining PARP1 inhibitors with radiotherapy in treating of BRCA1-related cancers has clinical relevance, however this study and our previous publications serve to highlight the potential problems of increased side effects in these scenarios.



  • Yes



Issue number


Page range


Publication title

Journal of Cancer




Ivyspring International Publisher

File version

  • Published version


  • eng

Legacy posted date


Legacy creation date


Legacy Faculty/School/Department

ARCHIVED Faculty of Science & Technology (until September 2018)

Usage metrics

    ARU Outputs


    No categories selected