Biochemical and biophysical research communications

PARP1 inhibitors attenuate AKT phosphorylation via the upregulation of PHLPP1.

PMID 21821012


Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP1) inhibitors are emerging as an important class of drugs for treating BRCA-deficient cancers. Recent discoveries have shown that PARP1 inhibitors may treat other cancer patients in addition to the relatively small proportion of patients carrying BRCA mutations. However, the additional targets by which PARP1 inhibitor-mediated tumor suppression remain poorly understood. In this study, we show that two PARP1 inhibitors, PJ-34 and 3-AB, attenuate AKT phosphorylation at serine 473 (S473) independent of DNA repair impairment. These inhibitors decrease the AKT-associated phosphorylation of FOXO3A, enhance the nuclear retention of FOXO3A, and activate its transcriptional activity. We further demonstrate that treatment with PJ-34 or 3-AB dramatically increases the level of PHLPP1. Overexpression of PHLPP1 enhances the PARP1 inhibitor-induced downregulation of AKT phosphorylation and increases tumor cell death. In contrast, knockdown of PHLPP1 abrogates the PARP1 inhibitor-mediated AKT inhibition and desensitizes cells to its treatment. Therefore, our findings not only show the robust role of PARP1 inhibitors in AKT inhibition but also develop a novel strategy to increase the effectiveness of cancer treatment via PARP1 inhibitor-induced PHLPP1 upregulation.