Dynamic differences between DNA damage repair responses in primary tumors and cell lines

Collin Gilbreath, Shihong Ma, Lan Yu, Rajni Sonavane, Carlos M. Roggero, Anvita Devineni, Ryan Mauck, Neil B. Desai, Aditya Bagrodia, Ralf Kittler, Ganesh V. Raj, Yi Yin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The study of DNA damage repair response (DDR) in prostate cancer is restricted by the limited number of prostate cancer cell lines and lack of surrogates for heterogeneity in clinical samples. Here, we sought to leverage our experience with patient derived explants (PDEs) cultured ex vivo to study dynamics of DDR in primary tumors following application of clinically relevant doses of ionizing radiation (IR) to tumor cells in their native 3-dimensional microenvironment. We compared DDR dynamics between prostate cancer cell lines, PDEs and xenograft derived explants (XDEs) following treatment with IR (2Gy) either alone or in combination with pharmacological modulators of DDR. We have shown that following treatment with 2Gy, DDR can be consistently detected in PDEs from multiple solid tumors, including prostate, kidney, testes, lung and breast, as evidenced by γ-H2AX, 53BP1, phospho-ATM and phospho-DNA-PKcs foci. By examining kinetics of resolution of IR-induced foci, we have shown that DDR in prostate PDEs (complete resolution in 8 h) is much faster than in prostate cancer cell lines (<50% resolution in 8 h). The transcriptional profile of DDR genes following 2Gy IR appears to be distinct between PDEs and cell lines. Pre-treatment with drugs targeting DDR pathways differentially alter the kinetics of DDR in the PDEs and cell lines, as evidenced by altered kinetics of foci resolution. This study highlights the utility of PDEs as a robust model system for short-term evaluation of DDR in primary solid tumors in clinically relevant microenvironment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100898
JournalTranslational Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • DNA damage response, DNA repair
  • Ex vivo culture
  • Tumor microenvironment
  • patient-derived explant
  • radiation resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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