Anti-leukemic effects of HDACi Belinostat and HMTi 3-Deazaneplanocin A on human acute promyelocytic leukemia cells

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Development of acute myeloid leukemia is usually sustained by deregulated epigenome. Alterations in DNA methylation and histone modifications are common manifestations of the disease. Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) is not an exception. Therefore, drugs that target epigenetic processes suggest an appealing strategy for APL treatment. In this study we tested the anti-leukemic activity of histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) Belinostat (PXD101, (2E)-N-Hydroxy-3-[3-(phenylsulfamoyl)phenyl]prop-2-enamide), and histone methyltransferase inhibitor (HMTi) 3-Deazaneplanocin A (DZNep, 5R-(4-amino-1H-imidazo[4,5-c]pyridin-1-yl)-3-(hydroxymethyl)-3-cyclopentene-1S,2R-diol) combined with retinoic acid (RA) in APL cells NB4 and HL-60. We demonstrated that APL cell treatment with combinations of differentiation inductor RA, HDACi Belinostat and HMTi DZNep caused a depletion of leukemia cell growth and viability, initiated apoptosis and exaggerated RA induced granulocytic differentiation. Also an increased expression of transcription factors C/EBPε and PPARγ was demonstrated, while no significant reduction in C/EBPα gene level was detected. Furthermore, combined treatment depleted gene expression levels of EZH2 and SUZ12, especially in HL-60 cells, and diminished protein levels of Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) components EZH2, SUZ12 and EED. In addition, our study has shown that Belinostat and DZNep together with RA caused a depletion in HDAC1 and HDAC2 protein levels, HDAC2 gene expression and increased hyperacetylation of histone H4 in both leukemia cell lines. Using ChIP method we also demonstrated the increased association of hyperacetylated histone H4 with the C/EBPα and C/EBPε promoter regions in HL-60 cells. Summarizing, these findings indicate that combined treatment with RA, Belinostat and 3-Deazaneplanocin A is an effective epigenetic inducer for leukemia cell differentiation.

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