Impact of ercc1, xpf and dna polymerase β expression on platinum response in patient-derived ovarian cancer xenografts

F. Guffanti, M.F. Alvisi, E. Caiola, F. Ricci, M. De Maglie, S. Soldati, M. Ganzinelli, A. Decio, R. Giavazzi, E. Rulli, G. Damia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Platinum resistance is an unmet medical need in ovarian carcinoma. Molecular biomarkers to predict the response to platinum-based therapy could allow patient stratification and alternative therapeutic strategies early in clinical management. Sensitivity and resistance to platinum therapy are partially determined by the tumor’s intrinsic DNA repair activities, including nucleotide excision repair (NER) and base excision repair (BER). We investigated the role of the NER proteins—ERCC1, XPF, ERCC1/XPF complex—and of the BER protein DNA polymerase β, as possible biomarkers of cisplatin (DDP) response in a platform of recently established patient-derived ovarian carcinoma xenografts (OC-PDXs). ERCC1 and DNA polymerase β protein expressions were measured by immunohistochemistry, the ERCC1/XPF foci number was detected by proximity ligation assay (PLA) and their mRNA levels by real-time PCR. We then correlated the proteins, gene expression and ERCC1/XPF complexes with OC-PDXs’ response to platinum. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first investigation of the role of the ERCC1/XPF complex, detected by PLA, in relation to the response to DDP in ovarian carcinoma. None of the proteins in the BER and NER pathways studied predicted platinum activity in this panel of OC-PDXs, nor did the ERCC1/XPF foci number. These results were partially explained by the experimental evidence that the ERCC1/XPF complex increases after DDP treatment and this possibly better associates with the cancer cells’ abilities to activate the NER pathway to repair platinum-induced damage than its basal level. Our findings highlight the need for DNA functional assays to predict the response to platinum-based therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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