Purpose: Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDI) are promising anticancer therapies; however, drug resistance limits their efficacy. Here, we investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying HDI resistance, focusing on the mechanism of HDI-mediated induction of insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) based on our previous study.
Experimental Design: The methylation status of CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF)-binding sites in the IGF2/H19 imprinting control region (ICR) were determined by methylation-specific PCR and bisulfite sequencing. The effectiveness of single or combinatorial blockade of DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) and histone deacetylase (HDAC) was evaluated using cell viability assay and patient-derived tumor xenograft (PDX) model.
Results: HDAC inhibition by vorinostat increased acetylated STAT3 (K685), resulting in transcriptional upregulation of DNMT1. DNMT1-mediated hypermethylation of CTCF-binding sites in the IGF2/H19 ICR decreased CTCF insulator activity, leading to a transcriptional upregulation of IGF2 and activation of the insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF-1R) pathway in cells with acquired or de novo vorinostat resistance. Strategies targeting DNMT1 diminished the IGF2 expression and potentiated vorinostat sensitivity in preclinical models of lung cancer with hypermethylation in the H19/IGF2 ICR. The degree of ICR hypermethylation correlated with vorinostat resistance in patient-derived lung tumors and in patients with hematologic malignancies.
Conclusions: DNMT1-mediated transcriptional upregulation of IGF2 is a novel mechanism of resistance to HDIs, highlighting the role of epigenetic deregulation of IGF2 in HDI resistance and the potential value of the H19/IGF2 ICR hypermethylation and DNMT1 expression as predictive biomarkers in HDI-based anticancer therapies. Clin Cancer Res; 1–13. ©2016 AACR.
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Clinical Cancer Research Online (http://clincancerres.aacrjournals.org/).
- Received February 27, 2016.
- Revision received July 6, 2016.
- Accepted August 3, 2016.
- ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.