Lehto J, Huguet Ninou A, Chioureas D, Jonkers J, Gustafsson NMS
Cancers (Basel) 13 (6) - [2021-03-22; online 2021-03-22]
The C-X3-C motif chemokine receptor 1 (CX3CR1, fractalkine receptor) is associated with neoplastic transformation, inflammation, neurodegenerative diseases and aging, and the small molecule inhibitor KAND567 targeting CX3CR1 (CX3CR1i) is evaluated in clinical trials for acute systemic inflammation upon SARS-CoV-2 infections. Here we identify a hitherto unknown role of CX3CR1 in Fanconi anemia (FA) pathway mediated repair of DNA interstrand crosslinks (ICLs) in replicating cells. FA pathway activation triggers CX3CR1 nuclear localization which facilitates assembly of the key FA protein FANCD2 into foci. Interfering with CX3CR1 function upon ICL-induction results in inability of replicating cells to progress from S phase, replication fork stalling and impaired chromatin recruitment of key FA pathway factors. Consistent with defective FA repair, CX3CR1i results in increased levels of residual cisplatin-DNA adducts and decreased cell survival. Importantly, CX3CR1i synergizes with platinum agents in a nonreversible manner in proliferation assays including platinum resistant models. Taken together, our results reveal an unanticipated interplay between CX3CR1 and the FA pathway and show for the first time that a clinical-phase small molecule inhibitor targeting CX3CR1 might show benefit in improving responses to DNA crosslinking chemotherapeutics.