Nat Commun. 2024 Feb 8;15(1):1203. doi: 10.1038/s41467-024-45350-8.
DNA damage resistance is a major barrier to effective DNA-damaging therapy in multiple myeloma (MM). To discover mechanisms through which MM cells overcome DNA damage, we investigate how MM cells become resistant to antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) therapy targeting Interleukin enhancer binding factor 2 (ILF2), a DNA damage regulator that is overexpressed in 70% of MM patients whose disease has progressed after standard therapies have failed. Here, we show that MM cells undergo adaptive metabolic rewiring to restore energy balance and promote survival in response to DNA damage activation. Using a CRISPR/Cas9 screening strategy, we identify the mitochondrial DNA repair protein DNA2, whose loss of function suppresses MM cells’ ability to overcome ILF2 ASO-induced DNA damage, as being essential to counteracting oxidative DNA damage. Our study reveals a mechanism of vulnerability of MM cells that have an increased demand for mitochondrial metabolism upon DNA damage activation.