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Experimental cell research

4-(1-Ethyl-4-anisyl-imidazol-5-yl)-N-hydroxycinnamide - A new pleiotropic HDAC inhibitor targeting cancer cell signalling and cytoskeletal organisation.


PMID 26101158

Abstract

Histone deacetylases (HDAC) which play a crucial role in cancer cell proliferation are promising drug targets. However, HDAC inhibitors (HDACi) modelled on natural hydroxamic acids such as trichostatin A frequently lead to resistance or even an increased agressiveness of tumours. As a workaround we developed 4-(1-ethyl-4-anisyl-imidazol-5-yl)-N-hydroxycinnamide (etacrox), a hydroxamic acid that combines HDAC inhibition with synergistic effects of the 4,5-diarylimidazole residue. Etacrox proved highly cytotoxic against a panel of metastatic and resistant cancer cell lines while showing greater specificity for cancer over non-malignant cells when compared to the approved HDACi vorinostat. Like the latter, etacrox and the closely related imidazoles bimacroxam and animacroxam acted as pan-HDACi yet showed some specificity for HDAC6. Akt signalling and interference with nuclear beta-catenin localisation were elicited by etacrox at lower concentrations when compared to vorinostat. Moreover, etacrox disrupted the microtubule and focal adhesion dynamics of cancer cells and inhibited the proteolytic activity of prometastatic and proangiogenic matrix metalloproteinases. As a consequence, etacrox acted strongly antimigratory and antiinvasive against various cancer cell lines in three-dimensional transwell invasion assays and also antiangiogenic in vivo with respect to blood vessel formation in the chorioallantoic membrane assay. These pleiotropic effects and its water-solubility and tolerance by mice render etacrox a promising new HDACi candidate.