Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) treatment remains a great challenge for clinical practice and novel therapeutic strategies are urgently needed. UCHL3 is a deubiquitinase that is overexpressed in TNBC and correlates with poor prognosis. UCHL3 deubiquitinates RAD51 thereby promoting the recruitment of RAD51 to DNA damage sites and augmenting DNA repair. Therefore, UCHL3 overexpression can render cancer cells resistant to DNA damage inducing chemo and radiotherapy, and targeting UCHL3 can sensitize TNBC to radiation and chemotherapy. However, small molecule inhibitors of UCHL3 are yet to be identified. Here we report that perifosine, a previously reported Akt inhibitor, can inhibit UCHL3 in vitro and in vivo. We found low dose (50 nM) perifosine inhibited UCHL3 deubiquitination activity without affecting Akt activity. Furthermore, perifosine enhanced Olaparib-induced growth inhibition in TNBC cells. Mechanistically, perifosine induced RAD51 ubiquitination and blocked the RAD51-BRCA2 interaction, which in turn decreased ionizing radiation-induced foci (IRIF) of Rad51 and, thereby, homologous recombination (HR)-mediated DNA double strand break repair. In addition, combination of perifosine and Olaparib showed synergistic antitumor activity in vivo in TNBC xenograft model. Thus, our present study provides a novel therapeutic approach to optimize PARP inhibitor treatment efficiency.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology
- Cancer Research