New histone deacetylase inhibitors as potential therapeutic tools for advanced prostate carcinoma

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The anti-epileptic drug valproic acid is also under trial as an anti-cancer agent due to its histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitory properties. However, the effects of valproic acid (VPA) are limited and concentrations required for exerting anti-neoplastic effects in vitro may not be reached in tumour patients. In this study, we tested in vitro and in vivo effects of two VPA-derivatives (ACS2, ACS33) on pre-clinical prostate cancer models. PC3 and DU-145 prostate tumour cell lines were treated with various concentrations of ACS2 or ACS33 to perform in vitro cell proliferation 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assays and to evaluate tumour cell adhesion to endothelial cell monolayers. Analysis of acetylated histones H3 and H4 protein expression was performed by western blotting. In vivo tumour growth was conducted in subcutaneous xenograft mouse models. Tumour sections were assessed by immunohistochemistry for histone H3 acetylation and proliferation. ACS2 and ACS33 significantly up-regulated histone H3 and H4 acetylation in prostate cancer cell lines. In micromolar concentrations both compounds exerted growth arrest in PC3 and DU-145 cells and prevented tumour cell attachment to endothelium. In vivo, ACS33 inhibited the growth of PC3 in subcutaneous xenografts. Immunohistochemistry and western blotting confirmed increased histone H3 acetylation and reduced proliferation. ACS2 and ACS33 represent novel VPA derivatives with superior anti-tumoural activities, compared to the mother compound. This investigation lends support to the clinical testing of ACS2 or ACS33 for the treatment of prostate cancer.

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