Theranostics 2018; 8(18):4995-5011. doi:10.7150/thno.26627

Research Paper

Novel hybrid molecule overcomes the limited response of solid tumours to HDAC inhibitors via suppressing JAK1-STAT3-BCL2 signalling

Zhi Huang1#, Wei Zhou1#, Yongtao Li1, Mei Cao 1, Tianqi Wang 1, Yakun Ma 1, Qingxiang Guo 1, Xin Wang1, Chao Zhang1, Chenglan Zhang1, Wenzhi Shen6, Yanhua Liu2, Yanan Chen2, Jianyu Zheng5, Shengyong Yang4, Yan Fan1,2,3 ✉, Rong Xiang1,2,3 ✉

1. Department of Medicinal Chemistry, School of Medicine, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China
2. State Key Laboratory of Medicinal Chemical Biology, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China
3. 2011 Project Collaborative Innovation Center for Biotherapy of Ministry of Education, Tianjin 300071, China
4. State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy and Cancer Center, West China Hospital, Collaborative Innovation Center for Biotherapy and Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, China
5. State Key Laboratory and Institute of Elemento-Organic Chemistry, Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemical Science and Engineering, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China
6. Department of Pathology and Institute of Precision Medicine, Jining Medical University, Jining 272067, China.
# Zhi Huang and Wei Zhou contributed equally to this work.

Abstract

Despite initial progress in preclinical models, most known histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACis) used as a single agent have failed to show clinical benefits in nearly all types of solid tumours. Hence, the efficacy of HDACis in solid tumours remains uncertain. Herein, we developed a hybrid HDAC inhibitor that sensitized solid tumours to HDAC-targeted treatment.

Methods: A hybrid molecule, Roxyl-zhc-84 was designed and synthesized with novel architecture. The pharmacokinetics and toxicity of Roxyl-zhc-84 were analysed. The antitumour effects of Roxyl-zhc-84 on solid tumours were investigated by assessing cell growth, apoptosis and cell cycle in vitro and in three in vivo mouse models and compared to those of corresponding control inhibitors alone or in combination. Gene set enrichment analysis was performed, and relevant JAK1-STAT3-BCL2 signalling was identified in vitro and in vivo in mechanistic studies.

Results: Roxyl-zhc-84 showed excellent pharmacokinetics and low toxicity. The novel hybrid inhibitor Roxyl-zhc-84 induced cell apoptosis and G1-phase arrest in breast cancer and ovarian cancer cell lines. In three mouse models, oral administration of Roxyl-zhc-84 led to significant tumour regression without obvious toxicity. Moreover, Roxyl-zhc-84 dramatically improved the limited response of traditional HDAC inhibitors in solid tumours via overcoming JAK1-STAT3-BCL2-mediated drug resistance. Roxyl-zhc-84 treatment exhibited vastly superior efficacy than the combination of HDAC and JAK1 inhibitors both in vitro and in vivo.

Conclusion: Concurrent inhibition of HDAC and CDK using Roxyl-zhc-84 with additional JAK1 targeting resolved the limited response of traditional HDAC inhibitors in solid tumours via overcoming JAK1-STAT3-BCL2-mediated drug resistance, providing a rational multi-target treatment to sensitize solid tumours to HDACi therapy.

Keywords: HDAC1, CDK4/6, JAK1, inhibitor, solid tumour

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How to cite this article:
Huang Z, Zhou W, Li Y, Cao M, Wang T, Ma Y, Guo Q, Wang X, Zhang C, Zhang C, Shen W, Liu Y, Chen Y, Zheng J, Yang S, Fan Y, Xiang R. Novel hybrid molecule overcomes the limited response of solid tumours to HDAC inhibitors via suppressing JAK1-STAT3-BCL2 signalling. Theranostics 2018; 8(18):4995-5011. doi:10.7150/thno.26627. Available from http://www.thno.org/v08p4995.htm