European journal of medicinal chemistry

Design and structure activity relationship of tumor-homing histone deacetylase inhibitors conjugated to folic and pteroic acids.

PMID 25899338


Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibition has recently emerged as a novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of various pathological conditions including cancer. Currently, two HDAC inhibitors (HDACi) – Vorinostat and Romidepsin – have been approved for the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. However, HDACi remain ineffective against solid tumors and are associated with adverse events including cardiotoxicity. Targeted delivery may enhance the therapeutic indices of HDACi and enable them to be efficacious against solid tumors. We showed herein that morphing of folic and pteroic acids into the surface recognition group of HDACi results in hydroxamate and benzamide HDACi which derived tumor homing by targeting folate receptor (FR), a receptor commonly overexpressed in solid tumors. We observed a correlation between the potency of HDAC1 inhibition and cytotoxicity as only the potent pteroate hydroxamates, 11d and 11e, displayed antiproliferative activity against two representative FR-expression cancer cells. Our observation further supports the previous results which suggest that for a drug to be successfully targeted using the FR, it must be extremely potent against its primary target as the FR has a low delivery efficiency.