Clinical cancer research : an official journal of the American Association for Cancer Research

Drug-Repositioning Screens Identify Triamterene as a Selective Drug for the Treatment of DNA Mismatch Repair Deficient Cells.

PMID 27913567


Purpose: The DNA mismatch repair (MMR) pathway is required for the maintenance of genome stability. Unsurprisingly, mutations in MMR genes occur in a wide range of different cancers. Studies thus far have largely focused on specific tumor types or MMR mutations; however, it is becoming increasingly clear that a therapy targeting MMR deficiency in general would be clinically very beneficial.Experimental Design: Based on a drug-repositioning approach, we screened a large panel of cell lines with various MMR deficiencies from a range of different tumor types with a compound drug library of previously approved drugs. We have identified the potassium-sparing diuretic drug triamterene, as a novel sensitizing agent in MMR-deficient tumor cells, in vitro and in vivoResults: The selective tumor cell cytotoxicity of triamterene occurs through its antifolate activity and depends on the activity of the folate synthesis enzyme thymidylate synthase. Triamterene leads to a thymidylate synthase-dependent differential increase in reactive oxygen species in MMR-deficient cells, ultimately resulting in an increase in DNA double-strand breaks.Conclusions: Conclusively, our data reveal a new drug repurposing and novel therapeutic strategy that has potential for the treatment of MMR deficiency in a range of different tumor types and could significantly improve patient survival. Clin Cancer Res; 23(11); 2880-90. ©2016 AACR.