Panobinostat enhances olaparib efficacy by modifying expression of homologous recombination repair and immune transcripts in ovarian cancer

Andrew J. Wilson, Vijayalaxmi G. Gupta, Qi Liu, Fiona Yull, Marta A. Crispens, Dineo Khabele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) sensitize homologous recombination (HR)-proficient human ovarian cancer cells to PARP inhibitors (PARPi). To investigate mechanisms of anti-tumor effects of combined HDACi/PARPi treatment we performed transcriptome analysis in HR- proficient human ovarian cancer cells and tested drug effects in established immunocompetent mouse ovarian cancer models. Human SKOV-3 cells were treated with vehicle (Con), olaparib (Ola), panobinostat (Pano) or Pano+Ola and RNA-seq analysis performed. DESeq2 identified differentially expressed HR repair and immune transcripts. Luciferised syngeneic mouse ovarian cancer cells (ID8-luc) were treated with the HDACi panobinostat alone or combined with olaparib and effects on cell viability, apoptosis, DNA damage and HR efficiency determined. C57BL/6 mice with intraperitoneally injected ID8-luc cells were treated with panobinostat and/or olaparib followed by assessment of tumor burden, markers of cell proliferation, apoptosis and DNA damage, tumor-infiltrating T cells and macrophages, and other immune cell populations in ascites fluid. There was a significant reduction in expression of 20/37 HR pathway genes by Pano+Ola, with immune and inflammatory-related pathways also significantly enriched by the combination. In ID8 cells, Pano+Ola decreased cell viability, HR repair, and enhanced DNA damage. Pano+Ola also co-operatively reduced tumor burden and proliferation, increased tumor apoptosis and DNA damage, enhanced infiltration of CD8+ T cells into tumors, and decreased expression of M2-like macrophage markers. In conclusion, panobinostat in combination with olaparib targets ovarian tumors through both direct cytotoxic and indirect immune-modulating effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-75
Number of pages13
JournalNeoplasia (United States)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Histone deacetylase inhibitors
  • Homologous recombination repair
  • Immune response
  • Ovarian cancer
  • PARP inhibitors


Dive into the research topics of 'Panobinostat enhances olaparib efficacy by modifying expression of homologous recombination repair and immune transcripts in ovarian cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this