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Ann Oncol. 2017 Jul 1;28(7):1495-1507. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdx165.

CHD1 loss sensitizes prostate cancer to DNA damaging therapy by promoting error-prone double-strand break repair.

Author information

Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, University of California, Los Angeles, USA.
The Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK.
Prostate Cancer Targeted Therapy Group and Drug Development Unit, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.
The MOE Key Laboratory of Cell Proliferation and Differentiation, School of Life Sciences, Peking-Tsinghua Center for Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China.
Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regeneration Medicine and Stem Cell Research and Center for Reproductive Sciences, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, USA.



Deletion of the chromatin remodeler chromodomain helicase DNA-binding protein 1 (CHD1) is a common genomic alteration found in human prostate cancers (PCas). CHD1 loss represents a distinct PCa subtype characterized by SPOP mutation and higher genomic instability. However, the role of CHD1 in PCa development in vivo and its clinical utility remain unclear.

Patients and methods:

To study the role of CHD1 in PCa development and its loss in clinical management, we generated a genetically engineered mouse model with prostate-specific deletion of murine Chd1 as well as isogenic CHD1 wild-type and homozygous deleted human benign and PCa lines. We also developed patient-derived organoid cultures and screened patients with metastatic PCa for CHD1 loss.


We demonstrate that CHD1 loss sensitizes cells to DNA damage and causes a synthetic lethal response to DNA damaging therapy in vitro, in vivo, ex vivo, in patient-derived organoid cultures and in a patient with metastatic PCa. Mechanistically, CHD1 regulates 53BP1 stability and CHD1 loss leads to decreased error-free homologous recombination (HR) repair, which is compensated by increased error-prone non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) repair for DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair.


Our study provides the first in vivo and in patient evidence supporting the role of CHD1 in DSB repair and in response to DNA damaging therapy. We uncover mechanistic insights that CHD1 modulates the choice between HR and NHEJ DSB repair and suggest that CHD1 loss may contribute to the genomic instability seen in this subset of PCas.


DDR; PCa; chromatin remodeler CHD1; homologous recombination; non-homologous end joining; synthetic lethality

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