CUDC-907 displays potent antitumor activity against human pancreatic adenocarcinoma in vitro and in vivo through inhibition of HDAC6 to downregulate c-Myc expression

Xu-hong Fu1,2, Xiong Zhang2, Hong Yang2, Xiao-wei Xu2, Zong-long Hu2, Juan Yan2, Xing-ling Zheng2, Rong-rui Wei2, Zhu-qing Zhang2, Shi-rui Tang, Mei-yu Geng2, Xun Huang2
1 College of Pharmacy, Nanchang University, Nanchang 330006, China
2 Division of Anti-Tumor Pharmacology, State Key Laboratory of Drug Research, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201203, China
Correspondence to: Mei-yu Geng:, Xun Huang:,
DOI: 10.1038/s41401-018-0108-5
Received: 20 February 2018
Accepted: 28 June 2018
Advance online: 17 September 2018


Pancreatic adenocarcinoma is a highly malignant cancer that often involves a deregulation of c-Myc. It has been shown that c-Myc plays a pivotal role in the regulation of a variety of physiological processes and is involved in early neoplastic development, resulting in poor progression. Hence, suppression of c-Myc overexpression is a potential strategy for pancreatic cancer therapy. CUDC-907 is a novel dual- acting inhibitor of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) and histone deacetylase (HDAC). It has shown potential efficiency in patients with lymphoma, multiple myeloma, or thyroid cancer, as well as in solid tumors with c-Myc alterations, but the evidence is lacking for how CUDC-907 regulates c-Myc. In this study, we investigated the effect of CUDC-907 on human pancreatic cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Our results showed that CUDC-907 potently inhibited the proliferation of 9 pancreatic cancer cell lines in vitro with IC50 values ranging from 6.7 to 54.5 nM. Furthermore, we revealed the antitumor mechanism of CUDC-907 in Aspc-1, PANC-1, and Capan-1 pancreatic cancer cells: it suppressed the HDAC6 subunit, thus downregulating c-Myc protein levels, which was a mode of action distinct from the existing mechanisms. Consistently, the extraordinary antitumor activity of CUDC-907 accompanied by downregulation of c-Myc and Ki67 expression in tumor tissue was observed in a human pancreatic cancer Aspc-1 xenograft nude mouse model in vivo. Our results suggest that CUDC-907 can be a valuable therapeutic option for treating pancreatic adenocarcinoma.
Keywords: pancreatic adenocarcinoma; CUDC-907; c-Myc; HDAC; PI3K

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