Investigation of belinostat-induced genomic instability by molecular cytogenetic analysis and pathway-focused gene expression profiling

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Abstract

Histone deacetylases (HDACs), which regulate transcription and specific functions such as tumor suppression by p53, are frequently altered in tumors and have a contentious role in carcinogenesis. HDAC inhibitors, which have a long history of use in psychiatry and neurology, have recently been tested as possible treatments for tumors. Belinostat received regulatory approval in the USA on July 3, 2014, for use against peripheral T-cell lymphoma. However, the unavailability of information on belinostat genotoxicity in normal cells and the molecular mechanisms involved in the genetic instability after exposure to belinostat encouraged us to conduct this study. Our data showed that the exposure of mice to belinostat at the recommended human doses induced chromosome breakage, whole-chromosome lagging, and oxidative DNA damage in bone marrow cells in a dose-dependent manner. The expression levels of 84 genes involved in the DNA damage signaling pathway were evaluated by using an RT2 Profiler PCR array. Belinostat exposure altered the expression of 25 genes, with statistically significant changes observed in 17 genes. The array results were supported by RT-PCR and western blotting experiments. Collectively, our results showed that belinostat exposure caused oxidative DNA damage and downregulated the expression of genes involved in DNA damage repair, which may be responsible for belinostat-induced genomic instability. Thus, the clinical usage of this drug should be weighed against the hazards of carcinogenesis, and the observed genotoxicity profile of belinostat may support further development of efficient HDAC inhibitors with weaker genotoxicity.

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