We analyzed the activity of the histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) suberoyl-anilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA) on Kasumi-1 acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells expressing AML1/ETO. We also compared the effects of SAHA to those of valproic acid (VPA), a short-chain fatty acid HDACi. SAHA and VPA induced histone H3 and H4 acetylation, myeloid differentiation and massive early apoptosis. The latter effects were not determined by either drug in AML cell lines, such as NB4 or THP-1, not expressing AML1/ETO. SAHA was more rapid and effective than VPA in increasing H3 and H4 acetylation in total Kasumi-1 cell lysates and more effective than VPA in inducing acetylation of H4K8, H4K12, H4K16 residues. At the promoter of IL3, a transcriptionally-silenced target of AML1/ETO, SAHA was also more rapid than VPA in inducing total H4, H4K5, H4K8 and H3K27 acetylation, while VPA was more effective than SAHA at later times in inducing acetylation of total H4, H4K12, H4K16, as well as total H3. Consistent with these differences, SAHA induced the expression of IL3 mRNA more rapidly than VPA, while the effect of VPA was delayed. These differences might be exploited to design clinical trials specifically directed to AML subtypes characterized by constitutive HDAC activation. Our results led to include SAHA, an FDA-approved drug, among the HDACi active in the AML1/ETO-expressing AML cells.
- Acute myeloid leukemia
- histone deacetylase inhibitors