Cancer Res 2017 10 8;77(20):5576-5590. Epub 2017 Aug 8.
Department of Internal Medicine I, University Hospital Ulm, Ulm, Germany.
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDAC) harbor recurrent functional mutations of the master DNA damage response kinase ATM, which has been shown to accelerate tumorigenesis and epithelial-mesenchymal transition. To study how ATM deficiency affects genome integrity in this setting, we evaluated the molecular and functional effects of conditional deletion in a mouse model of PDAC. ATM deficiency was associated with increased mitotic defects, recurrent genomic rearrangements, and deregulated DNA integrity checkpoints, reminiscent of human PDAC. We hypothesized that altered genome integrity might allow synthetic lethality-based options for targeted therapeutic intervention. Supporting this possibility, we found that the PARP inhibitor olaparib or ATR inhibitors reduced the viability of PDAC cells and associated with a genotype-selective increase in apoptosis. Overall, our results offered a preclinical mechanistic rationale for the use of PARP and ATR inhibitors to improve treatment of ATM-mutant PDAC. .