Exploitation of DNA repair defects has enabled major advances in treating specific cancers. Recent work discovered that the oncometabolite 2-hydroxyglutarate (2-HG), produced by neomorphic isocitrate dehydrogenase 1/2 (IDH1/2) mutations, confers a homology-directed repair (HDR) defect through 2-HG–induced histone hypermethylation masking HDR signaling. Here, we report that IDH1-mutant cancer cells are profoundly sensitive to the histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) vorinostat, by further suppressing the residual HDR in 2-HG–producing cells. Vorinostat downregulates repair factors BRCA1 and RAD51 via disrupted E2F-factor regulation, causing increased DNA double-strand breaks, reduced DNA repair factor foci, and functional HDR deficiency even beyond 2-HG's effects. This results in greater cell death of IDH1-mutant cells and confers synergy with radiation and PARPi, both against cells in culture and patient-derived tumor xenografts. Our work identifies HDACi's utility against IDH1-mutant cancers, and presents IDH1/2 mutations as potential biomarkers to guide trials testing HDACi in gliomas and other malignancies.

Implications:

IDH1-mutant cells show profound vulnerability to HDACi treatment, alone and with PARPi and radiation, via HDR suppression, presenting IDH1/2 mutations as biomarkers for HDACi use in gliomas and other malignancies.

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