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This article is the author’s final published version in Cancers, Volume 14, Issue 7, April 2022, Article number 1848.

The published version is available at Copyright © Jain et al.


Human Antigen R (HuR/ELAVL1) is known to regulate stability of mRNAs involved in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cell survival. Although several HuR targets are established, it is likely that many remain currently unknown. Here, we identified BARD1 mRNA as a novel target of HuR. Silencing HuR caused a >70% decrease in homologous recombination repair (HRR) efficiency as measured by the double-strand break repair (pDR-GFP reporter) assay. HuR-bound mRNAs extracted from RNP-immunoprecipitation and probed on a microarray, revealed a subset of HRR genes as putative HuR targets, including the BRCA1-Associated-Ring-Domain-1 (BARD1) (p < 0.005). BARD1 genetic alterations are infrequent in PDAC, and its context-dependent upregulation is poorly understood. Genetic silencing (siRNA and CRISPR knock-out) and pharmacological targeting of HuR inhibited both full length (FL) BARD1 and its functional isoforms (α, δ, Φ). Silencing BARD1 sensitized cells to olaparib and oxaliplatin; caused G2-M cell cycle arrest; and increased DNA-damage while decreasing HRR efficiency in cells. Exogenous overexpression of BARD1 in HuR-deficient cells partially rescued the HRR dysfunction, independent of an HuR pro-oncogenic function. Collectively, our findings demonstrate for the first time that BARD1 is a bona fide HuR target, which serves as an important regulatory point of the transient DNA-repair response in PDAC cells.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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