Targeting tumor-stroma communication by blocking endothelin-1 receptors sensitizes high-grade serous ovarian cancer to PARP inhibition Journal Articles uri icon

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  • AbstractPARP inhibitors (PARPi) have changed the treatment paradigm of high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HG-SOC). However, the impact of this class of inhibitors in HG-SOC patients with a high rate of TP53 mutations is limited, highlighting the need to develop combinatorial therapeutic strategies to improve responses to PARPi. Here, we unveil how the endothelin-1/ET-1 receptor (ET-1/ET-1R) axis, which is overexpressed in human HG-SOC and associated with poor prognosis, instructs HG-SOC/tumor microenvironment (TME) communication via key pro-malignant factors and restricts the DNA damage response induced by the PARPi olaparib. Mechanistically, the ET-1 axis promotes the p53/YAP/hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) transcription hub connecting HG-SOC cells, endothelial cells and activated fibroblasts, hence fueling persistent DNA damage signal escape. The ET-1R antagonist macitentan, which dismantles the ET-1R-mediated p53/YAP/HIF-1α network, interferes with HG-SOC/stroma interactions that blunt PARPi efficacy. Pharmacological ET-1R inhibition by macitentan in orthotopic HG-SOC patient-derived xenografts synergizes with olaparib to suppress metastatic progression, enhancing PARPi survival benefit. These findings reveal ET-1R as a mechanistic determinant in the regulation of HG-SOC/TME crosstalk and DNA damage response, indicating the use of macitentan in combinatorial treatments with PARPi as a promising and emerging therapy.


  • Tocci, Piera
  • Roman, Celia
  • Sestito, Rosanna
  • Di Castro, Valeriana
  • Sacconi, Andrea
  • Molineris, Ivan
  • Paolini, Francesca
  • Carosi, Mariantonia
  • Tonon, Giovanni
  • Blandino, Giovanni
  • Bagnato, Anna

publication date

  • January 5, 2023