Targeting the IRE1α/XBP1s pathway suppresses CARM1-expressing ovarian cancer

Jianhuang Lin, Heng Liu, Takeshi Fukumoto, Joseph Zundell, Qingqing Yan, Chih Hang Anthony Tang, Shuai Wu, Wei Zhou, Dajiang Guo, Sergey Karakashev, Chih Chi Andrew Hu, Kavitha Sarma, Andrew V. Kossenkov, Rugang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


CARM1 is often overexpressed in human cancers including in ovarian cancer. However, therapeutic approaches based on CARM1 expression remain to be an unmet need. Cancer cells exploit adaptive responses such as the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response for their survival through activating pathways such as the IRE1α/XBP1s pathway. Here, we report that CARM1-expressing ovarian cancer cells are selectively sensitive to inhibition of the IRE1α/XBP1s pathway. CARM1 regulates XBP1s target gene expression and directly interacts with XBP1s during ER stress response. Inhibition of the IRE1α/XBP1s pathway was effective against ovarian cancer in a CARM1-dependent manner both in vitro and in vivo in orthotopic and patient-derived xenograft models. In addition, IRE1α inhibitor B-I09 synergizes with immune checkpoint blockade anti-PD1 antibody in an immunocompetent CARM1-expressing ovarian cancer model. Our data show that pharmacological inhibition of the IRE1α/XBP1s pathway alone or in combination with immune checkpoint blockade represents a therapeutic strategy for CARM1-expressing cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5321
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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