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Open AccessArticle

Cell Cycle Arrest and Cytotoxic Effects of SAHA and RG7388 Mediated through p21WAF1/CIP1 and p27KIP1 in Cancer Cells

Rumbaugh-Goodwin Institute for Cancer Research, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314, USA
VRR Institute of Biomedical Science, Kattupakkam, Chennai 600056, India
College of Pharmacy, Health Professions Division, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Medicina 2019, 55(2), 30;
Received: 5 October 2018 / Revised: 31 December 2018 / Accepted: 23 January 2019 / Published: 29 January 2019
PDF [4015 KB, uploaded 30 January 2019]


Background and Objective: Alterations in gene expressions are often due to epigenetic modifications that can have a significant influence on cancer development, growth, and progression. Lately, histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) such as suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA, or vorinostat, MK0683) have been emerging as a new class of drugs with promising therapeutic benefits in controlling cancer growth and metastasis. The small molecule RG7388 (idasanutlin, R05503781) is a newly developed inhibitor that is specific for an oncogene-derived protein called MDM2, which is also in clinical trials for the treatment of various types of cancers. These two drugs have shown the ability to induce p21 expression through distinct mechanisms in MCF-7 and LNCaP cells, which are reported to have wild-type TP53. Our understanding of the molecular mechanism whereby SAHA and RG7388 can induce cell cycle arrest and trigger cell death is still evolving. In this study, we performed experiments to measure the cell cycle arrest effects of SAHA and RG7388 using MCF-7 and LNCaP cells. Materials and Methods: The cytotoxicity, cell cycle arrest, and apoptosis/necroptosis effects of the SAHA and RG7388 treatments were assessed using the Trypan Blue dye exclusion (TBDE) method, 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, fluorescence assay with DEVD-amc substrate, and immunoblotting methods. Results: The RG7388 treatment was able to induce cell death by elevating p21WAF1/CIP1 through inhibition of MDM2 in LNCaP, but not in MCF-7 cells, even though there was evidence of p53 elevation. Hence, we suspect that there is some level of uncoupling of p53-mediated transcriptional induction of p21WAF1/CIP1 in MCF-7 cells. Conclusion: Our results from MCF-7 and LNCaP cells confirmed that SAHA and RG7388 treatments were able to induce cell death via a combination of cell cycle arrest and cytotoxic mechanisms. We speculate that our findings could lead to the development of newer treatments for breast and prostate cancers with drug combinations including HDACi. View Full-Text
Keywords: SAHA; RG7388; MDM2; p53; p21; cell cycle arrest; cell death SAHA; RG7388; MDM2; p53; p21; cell cycle arrest; cell death

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Natarajan, U.; Venkatesan, T.; Radhakrishnan, V.; Samuel, S.; Rasappan, P.; Rathinavelu, A. Cell Cycle Arrest and Cytotoxic Effects of SAHA and RG7388 Mediated through p21WAF1/CIP1 and p27KIP1 in Cancer Cells. Medicina 2019, 55, 30.

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