Research Papers:

Inhibition of DNA-repair genes Ercc1 and Mgmt enhances temozolomide efficacy in gliomas treatment: a pre-clinical study

Sandra G. Boccard _, Sandie V. Marand, Sandra Geraci, Laurie Pycroft, François R. Berger and Laurent A. Pelletier

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:29456-29468. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.4909

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Sandra G. Boccard1,3, Sandie V. Marand1, Sandra Geraci1, Laurie Pycroft3, François R. Berger1,2, Laurent A. Pelletier1,2

1Univ. Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble Institut des Neurosciences, GIN, F-38000 Grenoble, France

2CHU de Grenoble, F-38000 Grenoble, France

3Oxford Functional Neurosurgery and Experimental Neurology, University of Oxford, UK

Correspondence to:

Laurent A. Pelletier, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: DNA-repair, chemoresistance, glioma, Temozolomide (TMZ), siRNA

Received: May 29, 2015     Accepted: August 07, 2015     Published: August 20, 2015


Gliomas are the most common primary brain tumors. To date, therapies do not allow curing patients, and glioblastomas (GBMs) are associated with remarkably poor prognosis. This situation is at least partly due to intrinsic or acquired resistance to treatment, especially to chemotherapy. In 2005, temozolomide (TMZ) has become the first chemotherapeutic drug validated for GBM. Nevertheless TMZ efficacy depends on Mgmt status. While the methylation of Mgmt promoter was considered so far as a prognostic marker, its targeting is becoming an effective therapeutic opportunity. Thus, arrival of both TMZ and Mgmt illustrated that considerable progress can still be realized by optimizing adjuvant chemotherapy. A part of this progress could be accomplished in the future by overcoming residual resistance. The aim of the present study was to investigate the involvement of a set of other DNA-repair genes in glioma resistance to temozolomide. We focused on DNA-repair genes located in the commonly deleted chromosomal region in oligodendroglioma (1p/19q) highly correlated with patient response to chemotherapy. We measured effects of inhibition of ten DNA-repair genes expression using siRNAs on astrocytoma cell response to cisplatin (CDDP) and TMZ. SiRNAs targeting ercc1, ercc2, mutyh, and pnkp significantly sensitized cells to chemotherapy, increasing cell death by up to 25%. In vivo we observed a decrease of subcutaneous glioma tumor growth after injection of siRNA in conjunction with absorption of TMZ. We demonstrated in this pre-clinical study that targeting of DNA-repair genes such as Ercc1 could be used as an adjuvant chemosensitization treatment, similarly to Mgmt inhibition.

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