British journal of cancer

MS-275 synergistically enhances the growth inhibitory effects of RAMBA VN/66-1 in hormone-insensitive PC-3 prostate cancer cells and tumours.

PMID 18349838


Combining drugs, which target different signalling pathways, often decreases adverse side effects while increasing the efficacy of treatment. The objective of our study was to determine if the combination of our novel atypical retinoic acid metabolism-blocking agent (RAMBA) VN/66-1 and a promising histone deacetylase inhibitor N-(2-aminophenyl)4-[N-(pyridine-3-yl-methoxy-carbonyl)aminomethyl]benzamide (MS-275) would show enhanced antineoplastic activity on human PC-3 prostate cancer cells/tumours and also to decipher the molecular mechanisms of action. The combination of VN/66-1+MS-275 was found to be synergistic in inhibiting PC-3 cell growth, caused cell cytostaticity/cytotoxicity and induced marked G2/M phase arrest and apoptosis. In mice with well-established PC-3 tumours, VN/66-1 (5 and 10 mg kg(-1) day(-1)) caused significant suppression of tumour growth compared with mice receiving vehicle alone. Furthermore, treatment with VN/66-1 (10 mg kg(-1) day(-1))+MS-275 (2.5 mg kg(-1) day(-1)) for 18 days resulted in an 85% reduction in final mean tumour volume compared with control and was more effective than either agent alone. Mechanistic studies indicated that treatment of PC-3 cells/tumours with VN/66-1+MS-275 caused DNA damage (upregulation of gammaH2AX), hyperacetylation of histones H3 and H4, upregulation of retinoic acid receptor-beta, p21WAF1/CIP1, E-cadherin, and Bad and downregulation of Bcl-2. These data suggest that the mechanism of action of the combination of agents is DNA damage-induced p21 activation, resulting in inhibition of the Cdc2/cyclin B complex and accumulation of cells in G2/M phase. In addition, the combination caused modulation and induction of apoptosis. These results suggest that VN/66-1 or its combination with MS-275 may be a novel therapy for the treatment of prostate carcinoma.