Largazole is a macrocyclic depsipeptide originally isolated from the marine cyanobacterium Symploca sp., which is indigenous to the warm, blue-green waters of Key Largo, Florida (whence largazole derives its name). Largazole contains an unusual thiazoline-thiazole ring system that rigidifies its macrocyclic skeleton, and it also contains a lipophilic thioester side chain. Hydrolysis of the thioester in vivo yields largazole thiol, which exhibits remarkable antiproliferative effects and is believed to be the most potent inhibitor of the metal-dependent histone deacetylases (HDACs). Here, the 2.14 Å-resolution crystal structure of the HDAC8-largazole thiol complex is the first of an HDAC complexed with a macrocyclic inhibitor and reveals that ideal thiolate-zinc coordination geometry is the key chemical feature responsible for its exceptional affinity and biological activity. Notably, the core structure of largazole is conserved in romidepsin, a depsipeptide natural product formulated as the drug Istodax® recently approved for cancer chemotherapy. Accordingly, the structure of the HDAC8-largazole thiol complex is the first to illustrate the mode of action of a new class of therapeutically important HDAC inhibitors.
The efficient total synthesis of the recently described natural substance largazole (1) and it’s active metabolite largazole thiol (2) is described. The synthesis required eight linear steps and proceeded in 37% overall yield. It is demonstrated that largazole is a pro-drug, that is activated by removal of the octanoyl residue from the 3-hydroxy-7-mercaptohept-4-enoic acid moiety to generate the active metabolite largazole thiol (2) which is an extraordinarily potent Class I histone deacetylase inhibitor. Synthetic largazole and the largazole thiol (2) have been evaluated side-by-side with FK228 and SAHA for inhibition of HDACs 1, 2, 3, and 6. Largazole and largazole thiol were further assayed for cytotoxic activity against a panel of chemoresistant melanoma cell lines and it was found that largazole is substantially more cytotoxic than largazole thiol; this difference being attributed to differences in cell permeability of the two substances, respectively.
The peptide isosteres (10 and 11) of the naturally occurring and potent histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors FK228 and largazole have been synthesized and evaluated side-by-side with FK228, largazole and SAHA for inhibition of the class I HDACs 1, 2, 3, and 6.
An enantioselective total synthesis of cytotoxic natural product, (+)-largazole (1) is described. It is a potent histone deacetylase inhibitor. Our synthesis is convergent and involves the assembly of thiazole 3-derived carboxylic acid with amino ester 4 followed by cycloamidation of the corresponding amino acid. The synthesis features an efficient cross metathesis, an enzymatic kinetic resolution of a β-hydroxy ester, a selective removal of a Boc-protecting group, a HATU/HOAt-promoted cycloamidation reaction, and synthetic manipulations to a sensitive thioester functional group.
Fourteen analogs of the marine natural product largazole have been prepared and assayed against HDACs 1,2, 3, and 6. Olefin cross-metathesis was used to efficiently access six variants of the side-chain zinc-binding domain, while adaptation of our previously reported modular synthesis allowed probing of the macrocyclic cap group
Due to their capability of modifying chromatin structure and thereby regulating gene transcription, histone deacetylases (HDACs) have been reported to play important roles in osteogenesis and considered a promising potential therapeutic target for bone diseases, including osteoporosis. We showed that the novel marine-derived HDAC inhibitor largazole exhibits in vitro and in vivo osteogenic activity. Largazole significantly induced the expression of ALP and OPN. The osteogenic activity of largazole was mediated through the increased expression of Runx2 and BMPs. Importantly, largazole showed in vivo bone-forming efficacy in the mouse calvarial bone formation assay and the rabbit calvarial bone fracture healing model. The dual action of largazole to stimulate bone formation and inhibit bone resorption would be a useful feature in drug development for bone-related disorders.
largazole; osteogenic activity; histone deacetylases; Runx2; bone morphogenetic protein
A total synthesis of largazole that proceeds in 8 steps from commercial materials is reported, along with some structure-activity relationships. A combination of NMR studies and molecular modeling have also provided a preliminary picture of the conformation of largazole.
A series of polyaminohydroxamic acids (PAHAs) and polyaminobenzamides (PABAs) were synthesized and evaluated as isoform-selective histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors. These analogues contain a polyamine chain to increase affinity for chromatin and facilitate cellular import. Seven PAHAs inhibited HDAC >50% (1 µM), and two PABAs inhibited HDAC >50% (5 µM). Compound 17 increased acetylated α-tubulin in HCT116 colon tumor cells 253-fold but only modestly increased p21waf1 and acetylated histones 3 and 4, suggesting that 17 selectively inhibits HDAC 6. PABA 22 alone minimally increased p21waf1 and acetylated histones 3 and 4 but caused dose-dependent increases in p21waf1 in combination with 0.1 µM 5-azadeoxycytidine. Finally, 22 appeared to be a substrate for the polyamine transport system. None of these compounds were cytotoxic at 100 µM. PAHAs and PABAs exhibit strikingly different cellular effects from SAHA and have the potential for use in combination antitumor therapies with reduced toxicity.
Protein ubiquitination plays an important role in the regulation of almost every aspect of eukaryotic cellular function; therefore, its destabilization is often observed in most human diseases and cancers. Consequently, developing inhibitors of the ubiquitination system for the treatment of cancer has been a recent area of interest. Currently, only a few classes of compounds have been discovered to inhibit the ubiquitin-activating enzyme (E1) and only one class is relatively selective in E1 inhibition in cells. We now report that Largazole and its ester and ketone analogs selectively inhibit ubiquitin conjugation to p27Kip1 and TRF1 in vitro. The inhibitory activity of these small molecules on ubiquitin conjugation has been traced to their inhibition of the ubiquitin E1 enzyme. To further dissect the mechanism of E1 inhibition, we analyzed the effects of these inhibitors on each of the two steps of E1 activation. We show that Largazole and its derivatives specifically inhibit the adenylation step of the E1 reaction while having no effect on thioester bond formation between ubiquitin and E1. E1 inhibition appears to be specific to human E1 as Largazole ketone fails to inhibit the activation of Uba1p, a homolog of E1 in Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Moreover, Largazole analogs do not significantly inhibit SUMO E1. Thus, Largazole and select analogs are a novel class of ubiquitin E1 inhibitors and valuable tools for studying ubiquitination in vitro. This class of compounds could be further developed and potentially be a useful tool in cells.
Metal-dependent histone deacetylases (HDACs) catalyze the hydrolysis of acetyl-L-lysine side chains in histone and non-histone proteins to yield L-lysine and acetate. This chemistry plays a critical role in the regulation of numerous biological processes. Aberrant HDAC activity is implicated in various diseases, and HDACs are validated targets for drug design. Two HDAC inhibitors are currently approved for cancer chemotherapy, and other inhibitors are in clinical trials. To date, X-ray crystal structures are available for four human HDACs (2, 4, 7, 8) and three HDAC-related deacetylases from bacteria (histone deacetylase-like protein, HDLP; histone deacetylase-like amidohydrolase, HDAH; acetylpolyamine amidohydrolase, APAH). Structural comparisons among these enzymes reveal a conserved constellation of active site residues, suggesting a common mechanism for the metal-dependent hydrolysis of acetylated substrates. Structural analyses of HDACs and HDAC-related deacetylases guide the design of tight-binding inhibitors, and future prospects for developing isozyme-specific inhibitors are quite promising.
Acetylation is mediated by acetyltransferases and deacetylases, and occurs not only on histones but also on diverse proteins. Although histone acetylation in chromatin structure and transcription has been well studied, the biological roles of non-histone acetylation remain elusive. Histone deacetylase 6 (Hdac6), a member of the histone deacetylase (HDAC) family, is a unique deacetylase that localizes to cytoplasm and functions in many cellular events by deacetylating non-histone proteins including α-tubulin, Hsp90, and cortactin. Since robust expression of Hdac6 is observed in brain, it would be expected that Hdac6-mediated reversible acetylation plays essential roles in CNS. Here we demonstrate the crucial roles of Hdac6 deacetylase activity in the expression of emotional behavior in mice. We found that Hdac6-deficient mice exhibit hyperactivity, less anxiety, and antidepressant-like behavior in behavioral tests. Moreover, administration of Hdac6-specific inhibitor replicated antidepressant-like behavior in mice. In good agreement with behavioral phenotypes of Hdac6-deficient mice, Hdac6 dominantly localizes to the dorsal and median raphe nuclei, which are involved in emotional behaviors. These findings suggest that HDAC6-mediated reversible acetylation might contribute to maintain proper neuronal activity in serotonergic neurons, and also provide a new therapeutic target for depression.
Chromatin remodelling enzymes such as the histone deacetylases (HDACs) and histone demethylases such as lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1) have been validated as targets for cancer drug discovery. Although a number of HDAC inhibitors have been marketed or are in human clinical trials, the search for isoform-specific HDAC inhibitors is an ongoing effort. In addition, the discovery and development of compounds targeting histone demethylases are in their early stages. Epigenetic modulators used in combination with traditional antitumor agents such as 5-azacytidine represent an exciting new approach to cancer chemotherapy. We have developed multiple series of HDAC inhibitors and LSD1 inhibitors that promote the re-expression of aberrantly silenced genes that are important in human cancer. The design, synthesis and biological activity of these analogues is described herein.
The design, synthesis and biological evaluation of a new phorboxazole analogue, comprising an acetal replacement for the C-ring tetrahdropyran of the natural product and carrying a potency-enhancing C(45–46) vinyl chloride side chain, is described. In addition, the synthesis of (+)-hemi-phorboxazole A and a series of related hemi-phorboxazole A analogues has been achieved. The new acetal ring replacement analogue displayed activity comparable to that of the parent natural product against HCT-116 (colon) cells (IC50 2.25 ng/mL). Equally important, the phorboxazole analogue and two related hemiphorboxazole A congeners exhibited significant antifungal activity when assayed against pathogenic Candida albicans strains.
The reversible acetylation of histones is critical for regulation of eukaryotic gene expression. The histone deacetylase inhibitors trichostatin (TSA, 1), MS-275 (2) and suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA, 3) arrest growth in transformed cells and in human tumor xenografts. However, 1–3 suffer from lack of specificity among the various HDAC isoforms, prompting us to design and synthesize polyaminohydroxamic acid (PAHA) derivatives 6–21. We felt that PAHAs would be selectively directed to chromatin and associated histones by the positively charged polyamine side chain. At 1 μM, compounds 12, 15 and 20 inhibited HDAC by 74.86, 59.99 and 73.85%, respectively. Although 20 was a less potent HDAC inhibitor than 1, it was more potent than 2, more effective as an initiator of histone hyperacetylation, and significantly more effective than 2 at re-expressing p21Waf1 in ML-1 leukemia cells. On the basis of these results, PAHAs 6–21 represent an important new chemical class of HDAC inhibitors.
Protein acetylation is a reversible process regulated by histone deacetylases (HDACs) that is often altered in human cancers. SAHA (suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid) is the first histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) to be approved for clinical use as an anticancer agent. Given that histone acetylation is a key determinant of chromatin structure, we investigated how SAHA may affect DNA replication and integrity to gain deeper insights into the basis for its anticancer activity. Nuclear replication factories were visualized with confocal immunofluorescence microscopy and with single-replicon analyses conducted by genome-wide molecular combing after pulse labeling with two thymidine-analogues. Additionally, nascent strand real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in the human β-globin locus was used to assess the effects of SAHA on replication fork origin firing. We found that pharmacological concentrations of SAHA induce replication-mediated DNA damage, on the basis of single-cell and single-DNA molecule analyses. Molecular combing indicated slowdown in replication speed along with activation of dormant replication origins in response to SAHA. Similar results were obtained using siRNA-mediated depletion of HDAC3 expression, implicating this HDAC member as a likely target in the SAHA response. Activation of dormant origins was confirmed by molecular analyses of the β-globin locus control region. Our findings indicate that SAHA produces profound alterations in DNA replication that cause DNA damage, establishing a critical link between robust chromatin acetylation and DNA replication in human cancer cells.
epigenetic; replication; HDAC; acetylation; DNA repair
Inhibitors of histone deacetylases (HDAC) are an important emerging class of drugs for the treatment of cancers. HDAC inhibitors are currently under evaluation in clinical trials as single agents and as sensitizers in combinations with chemotherapies and radiation therapy. Although these drugs have important effects on cancer cell growth and functions, the mechanisms underlying HDAC inhibitor activities remain to be fully defined. By using rational drug design, compound 2, a fluorescent class II HDAC targeting inhibitor, was synthesized and observed to accumulate in the cytoplasmic compartments of treated cells, but not in the nuclei. Furthermore, immunostaining of inhibitor exposed cells for HDAC4 showed accumulation of this enzyme in the cytoplasmic compartment with concomitant increased acetylation of tubulin and nuclear histones. These observations support a mechanism by which nuclear histone acetylation is increased as a result of HDAC4 trapping and sequestration in the cytoplasm after binding to compound 2. The HDAC inhibitor offers potential as a novel theranostic agent, combining diagnostic and therapeutic properties in the same molecule.
Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are a family of enzymes that play significant roles in numerous biological processes and diseases. HDACs are best known for their repressive influence on gene transcription through histone deacetylation. Mapping of non-histone acetylated proteins and acetylation-modifying enzymes involved in various cellular pathways has shown protein acetylation/deacetylation also plays key roles in a variety of cellular processes including RNA splicing, nuclear transport, and cytoskeletal-remodeling. Studies of HDACs have accelerated due to the availability of small molecule HDAC inhibitors, most of which contain a canonical hydroxamic acid or benzamide that chelates the metal catalytic site. To increase the pool of unique and novel HDAC inhibitor pharmacophores, a pharmacological active compound screen was performed. Several unique HDAC inhibitor pharmacophores were identified in vitro. One class of novel HDAC inhibitors, with a central naphthoquinone structure, displayed a selective inhibition profile against HDAC6. Here we present the results of a unique class of HDAC6 inhibitors identified using this compound library screen. In addition, we demonstrated treatment of human acute myeloid leukemia cell line MV4-11 with the selective HDAC6 inhibitors decreases levels of mutant FLT-3 and constitutively active STAT5, and attenuates Erk phosphorylation, all of which are associated with the inhibitor’s selective toxicity against leukemia.
To find histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3)-selective inhibitors, a series of 504 candidates was assembled using “click chemistry”, by reacting nine alkynes bearing a zinc-binding group with 56 azide building blocks in the presence of Cu(I) catalyst. Screening of the 504-member triazole library against HDAC3 and other HDAC isozymes led to the identification of potent and selective HDAC3 inhibitors T247 and T326. These compounds showed potent HDAC3 inhibition with submicromolar IC50s, whereas they did not strongly inhibit other isozymes. Compounds T247 and T326 also induced a dose-dependent selective increase of NF-κB acetylation in human colon cancer HCT116 cells, indicating selective inhibition of HDAC3 in the cells. In addition, these HDAC3-selective inhibitors induced growth inhibition of cancer cells, and activated HIV gene expression in latent HIV-infected cells. These findings indicate that HDAC3-selective inhibitors are promising candidates for anticancer drugs and antiviral agents. This work also suggests the usefulness of the click chemistry approach to find isozyme-selective HDAC inhibitors.
We investigated the induction of human γ globin gene activity by 3 classes of histone deacetylase inhibitors: amide analogues of trichostatin A, hydroxamic acid analogues of trapoxin, and scriptaid and its analogues. The screening consisted of measuring the effects of these compounds on γ and β human gene promoter activity by using cultures of GM979 cells stably transfected with a construct containing a γ promoter linked to firefly luciferase and a β promoter linked to renilla luciferase. Compounds belonging to all 3 classes induced γ gene promoter activity in the screening assay in low micromolar concentrations. Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors increased acetylation of histone H4 and induced the expression of endogenous murine embryonic genes. They also increased the levels of γ mRNA and the frequency of fetal hemoglobin-containing erythroblasts in erythroid burst-forming unit (BFUe) cultures from healthy adult individuals. Compounds that displayed very similar degrees of inhibition of the HDAC activity in an HDAC enzymatic assay differed strikingly on their effects on γ gene promoter activity, raising the possibility of selectivity of HDACs that interact with the γ globin gene chromatin.
Endothelial barrier dysfunction (EBD) involves microtubule disassembly and enhanced cell contractility. Histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) deacetylates α-tubulin, and thereby destabilizes microtubules. This study investigates a role for HDAC6 in EBD.
EBD was induced with thrombin±HDAC6 inhibitors (tubacin and MC1575), and assessed by transendothelial electrical resistance (TEER). Markers for microtubule disassembly (α-tubulin and acetylated α-tubulin) and contraction (phosporylated myosin light chain 2, P-MLC2) were measured using immunoblots and immunofluorescence.
Results and Conclusion
Thrombin induced a ~50% decrease in TEER that was abrogated by the HDAC6 inhibitors. Moreover, inhibition of HDAC6 diminished edema in the lung injured by lipopolysacchride. Lastly, inhibition of HDAC6 attenuated thrombin- induced microtubule disassembly and P-MLC2. Our results suggest that HDAC6 can be targeted to limit EBD.
Because epigenetic alterations are believed to be involved in the repression of tumor suppressor genes and promotion of tumorigenesis in endometrial cancers, novel compounds endowed with a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitory activity are an attractive therapeutic approach. In this review, we discuss the biologic and therapeutic effects of HDAC inhibitors (HDACIs) in treating endometrial cancer. HDACIs were able to mediate inhibition of cell growth, cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and the expression of genes related to the malignant phenotype in a variety of endometrial cancer cell lines. Furthermore, HDACIs were able to induce the accumulation of acetylated histones in the chromatin of the p21WAF1 gene in human endometrial carcinoma cells. In xenograft models, some HDACIs have demonstrated antitumor activity with only few side effects. In this review, we discuss the biologic and therapeutic effects of HDACIs in treating endometrial cancer, with a special focus on preclinical studies.
Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are a family of enzymes found in bacteria, fungi, plants, and animals that profoundly affect cellular function by catalyzing the removal of acetyl groups from ε-N-acetylated lysine residues of various protein substrates including histones, transcription factors, α-tubulin, and nuclear importers. Although the precise roles of HDAC isoforms in cellular function are not yet completely understood, inhibition of HDAC activity has emerged as a promising approach for reversing the aberrant epigenetic states associated with cancer and other chronic diseases. Potent new isoform selective HDAC inhibitors would therefore help expand our understanding of the HDAC enzymes and would represent attractive lead compounds for drug design, especially if combined with high resolution structural analyses of such inhibitors to shed light on the three-dimensional pharmacophoric features necessary for the future design of more potent and selective compounds. Here we present structural and functional analyses of a series of β-amino acid-containing HDAC inhibitors inspired by cyclic tetrapeptide natural products. To survey a diverse ensemble of pharmacophoric configurations, we systematically varied the position of the β-amino acid, amino acid chirality, functionalization of the Zn2+-coordinating amino acid side chain, and alkylation of the backbone amide nitrogen atoms around the macrocycle. In many cases, the compounds were a single conformation in solution and exhibited potent activities against a number of HDAC isoforms as well as effective antiproliferative and cytotoxic activities against human tumor cells. High resolution NMR solution structures were determined for a selection of the inhibitors, providing a useful means of correlating detailed structural information with potency. The structure-based approach described here is expected to furnish valuable insights toward the future design of more selective HDAC inhibitors.
beta-amino acids; drug design; cyclic tetrapeptides; histone deacetylase; structure-activity relationship
Since epigenetic alterations are believed to be involved in the repression of tumor suppressor genes and promotion of tumorigenesis in ovarian cancers, novel compounds endowed with a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitory activity are an attractive therapeutic approach. In this review, we discuss the biologic and therapeutic effects of HDAC inhibitors (HDACIs) in treating ovarian cancer. HDACIs were able to mediate inhibition of cell growth, cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and expression of genes related to the malignant phenotype in a variety of ovarian cancer cell lines. Furthermore, HDACIs were able to induce the accumulation of acetylated histones in the chromatin of the p21WAF1 gene in human ovarian carcinoma cells. In xenograft models, some of HDACIs have demonstrated antitumor activity with only few side effects. Some clinical trials demonstrate that HDACI drugs provide an important class of new mechanism-based therapeutics for ovarian cancer. In this review, we discuss the biologic and therapeutic effects of HDACIs in treating ovarian cancer, especially focusing on preclinical studies and clinical trials.
Posttranslational modifications play important roles in regulating protein structure and function. Histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) is a mostly cytoplasmic class II HDAC, which has a unique structure with two catalytic domains and a domain binding ubiquitin with high affinity. This enzyme was recently identified as a multisubstrate protein deacetylase that can act on acetylated histone tails, α-tubulin and Hsp90. To investigate the in vivo functions of HDAC6 and the relevance of tubulin acetylation/deacetylation, we targeted the HDAC6 gene by homologous recombination in embryonic stem cells and generated knockout mice. HDAC6-deficient mice are viable and fertile and show hyperacetylated tubulin in most tissues. The highest level of expression of HDAC6 is seen in the testis, yet development and function of this organ are normal in the absence of HDAC6. Likewise, lymphoid development is normal, but the immune response is moderately affected. Furthermore, the lack of HDAC6 results in a small increase in cancellous bone mineral density, indicating that this deacetylase plays a minor role in bone biology. HDAC6-deficient mouse embryonic fibroblasts show apparently normal microtubule organization and stability and also show increased Hsp90 acetylation correlating with impaired Hsp90 function. Collectively, these data demonstrate that mice survive well without HDAC6 and that tubulin hyperacetylation is not detrimental to normal mammalian development.
Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are enzymes that regulate the functions of histones as well as nonhistones by catalyzing the removal of acetyl groups from lysine residues. HDACs regulate many biological processes, including the cell division cycle and tumorigenesis. Although recent studies have implicated HDAC8 in tumor cell proliferation, the molecular mechanisms linking HDAC8 to cell growth remain unknown. Here, we report that the human ortholog of the yeast ever-shorter telomeres 1B (EST1B) binds HDAC8. This interaction is regulated by protein kinase A-mediated HDAC8 phosphorylation and protects human EST1B (hEST1B) from ubiquitin-mediated degradation. Phosphorylated HDAC8 preferentially recruits Hsp70 to a complex that inhibits the CHIP (C-terminal heat shock protein interacting protein) E3 ligase-mediated degradation of hEST1B. Importantly, HDAC8 regulation of hEST1B protein stability modulates total telomerase enzymatic activity. Our findings reveal a novel mechanism by which HDAC8 contributes to tumorigenesis by regulating telomerase activity.