DOI: 10.1158/1538-7755.disp23-c034 ISSN: 1538-7755

Abstract C034: Understanding the role of PARP activity in prostate cancer

Moriah Cunningham, Latese Evans, Salome Tchotorlishvili, Jasibel Vasquez Gonzalez, Candice Bizzaro, Tessa Mulders, Matthew Schiewer
  • Oncology
  • Epidemiology


Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second most fatal cancer in men in the United States. African American men have an incidence and death rate two times higher than that of European American men. The androgen receptor (AR) is the primary pro-oncogenic transcription factor responsible for PCa emergence and progression. AR directed therapies including androgen deprivation (ADT), direct receptor antagonism and inhibition of androgen synthesis are the current standard of care for advanced PCa. Adaptive resistance to anti-androgen therapy can occur resulting in castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). mCRPC remains universally fatal with no curative treatment options, which highlights the need for new treatment regimes. Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP-1) inhibitors are approved to treat mCRPC tumors that have homologous recombination (HR) mutations. PARP-1 is an enzyme that recruits DNA damage repair enzymes. PARP-1 enzymatic activity is elevated in mCRPC patient tumors compared to primary tumors. PARP1 enzymatic activity has been implicated in driving pro-survival mechanisms through recruitment of DNA-damage repair enzymes and regulation of oncogenic transcription factors, including AR. Although increased PARP activity has been associated with driving cancer cell survival, the mechanisms and consequences of elevated PARP activity in PCa remains an area to be further explored.   The biologically relevant doses of five PARPi were established in regular and steroid depleted growth conditions in CRPC models. PARP enzymatic activity was assessed by immunoblotting for changes in PARlyation, revealing that PARP protein remains stable, while enzymatic activity is attenuated upon challenge with PARPi. Transcriptomic analysis will assess changes in gene expression programs that are associated with inhibition of PARP enzymatic activity as it relates to key oncogenic pathways in PCa.   It will be imperative to gain a deeper understanding of how PARP-1 manipulation modulates pro-oncogenic transcriptional networks to better inform clinical response. Patient derived explants (PDEs) from patients with distinct racial backgrounds will be used to examine differential PARPi responses as it relates to race. This will serve to unravel the mechanisms attributed to the increased lethality of PCa observed in African American populations. Collectively, these studies and future studies for this project will further establish the impact of PARP on PCa gene expression programs and provide resources for future studies exploring PARP in PCa. Further, they may help elucidate mechanisms to address PCa racial disparities.

Citation Format: Moriah Cunningham, Latese Evans, Salome Tchotorlishvili, Jasibel Vasquez Gonzalez, Candice Bizzaro, Tessa Mulders, Matthew Schiewer. Understanding the role of PARP activity in prostate cancer [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 16th AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved; 2023 Sep 29-Oct 2;Orlando, FL. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2023;32(12 Suppl):Abstract nr C034.

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