ARTICLE ABSTRACTPARP inhibitors (PARPi) are potentially effective therapeutic agents capable of inducing synthetic lethality in tumors with deficiencies in homologous recombination (HR)-mediated DNA repair such as those carrying BRCA1 mutations. However, BRCA mutations are rare, the majority of tumors are proficient in HR repair, and thus most tumors are resistant to PARPi. Previously, we observed that ionizing radiation (IR) initiates cytoplasmic translocation of BRCA1 leading to suppression of HR-mediated DNA repair and induction of synthetic PARPi lethality in wild-type BRCA1 and HR-proficient tumor cells. The tumor suppressor p53 was identified as a key factor that regulates DNA damage–induced BRCA1 cytoplasmic sequestration following IR. However, the role of p53 in IR-induced PARPi sensitization remains unclear. This study elucidates the role of p53 in IR-induced PARPi cytotoxicity in HR-proficient cancer cells and suggests p53 status may help define a patient population that might benefit from this treatment strategy. Sensitization to PARPi following IR was determined in vitro and in vivo utilizing human breast and glioma tumor cells carrying wild-type BRCA1 and p53, and in associated cells in which p53 function was modified by knockdown or mutation. In breast and glioma cells with proficient HR repair, IR-induced BRCA1 cytoplasmic sequestration, HR repair inhibition, and subsequent PARPi sensitization in vitro and in vivo was dependent upon functional p53.Implications: Implications: p53 status determines PARP inhibitor sensitization by ionizing radiation in multiple BRCA1 and HR-proficient tumor types and may predict which patients are most likely to benefit from combination therapy. Mol Cancer Res; 16(7); 1092–102. ©2018 AACR.