Functional DNA Repair Signature of Cancer Cell Lines Exposed to a Set of Cytotoxic Anticancer Drugs Using a Multiplexed Enzymatic Repair Assay on Biochip

The development of resistances to conventional anticancer drugs compromises the efficacy of cancer treatments. In the case of DNA-targeting chemotherapeutic agents, cancer cells may display tolerance to the drug-induced DNA lesions and/or enhanced DNA repair. However, the role of DNA damage response (DDR) and DNA repair in this chemoresistance has yet to be defined. To provide insights in this challenging area, we analyzed the DNA repair signature of 7 cancer cell lines treated by 5 cytotoxic drugs using a recently developed multiplexed functional DNA repair assay. This comprehensive approach considered the complexity and redundancy of the different DNA repair pathways. Data was analyzed using clustering methods and statistical tests. This DNA repair profiling method defined relevant groups based on similarities between different drugs, thus providing information relating to their dominant mechanism of action at the DNA level. Similarly, similarities between different cell lines presumably identified identical functional DDR despite a high level of genetic heterogeneity between cell lines. Our strategy has shed new light on the contribution of specific repair sub-pathways to drug-induced cytotoxicity. Although further molecular characterisations are needed to fully unravel the mechanisms underlying our findings, our approach proved to be very promising to interrogate the complexity of the DNA repair response. Indeed, it could be used to predict the efficacy of a given drug and the chemosensitivity of individual patients, and thus to choose the right treatment for individualised cancer care.