Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro
Seventh Framework Program projects PANACREAS
Fondazione Umberto Veronesi
Italian Ministry of Health
5 × 1000 2014 Funds
University of Genoa
ARTICLE ABSTRACTIn the last decade, substantial efforts have been made to identify NAD+ biosynthesis inhibitors, specifically against nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT), as preclinical studies indicate their potential efficacy as cancer drugs. However, the clinical activity of NAMPT inhibitors has proven limited, suggesting that alternative NAD+ production routes exploited by tumors confer resistance. Here, we show the gene encoding nicotinic acid phosphoribosyltransferase (NAPRT), a second NAD+-producing enzyme, is amplified and overexpressed in a subset of common types of cancer, including ovarian cancer, where NAPRT expression correlates with a BRCAness gene expression signature. Both NAPRT and NAMPT increased intracellular NAD+ levels. NAPRT silencing reduced energy status, protein synthesis, and cell size in ovarian and pancreatic cancer cells. NAPRT silencing sensitized cells to NAMPT inhibitors both in vitro and in vivo; similar results were obtained with the NAPRT inhibitor 2-hydroxynicotinic acid. Reducing NAPRT levels in a BRCA2-deficient cancer cell line exacerbated DNA damage in response to chemotherapeutics. In conclusion, NAPRT-dependent NAD+ biosynthesis contributes to cell metabolism and to the DNA repair process in a subset of tumors. This knowledge could be used to increase the efficacy of NAMPT inhibitors and chemotherapy. Cancer Res; 77(14); 3857–69. ©2017 AACR.