Sci Rep 2017 03 9;7:44079. Epub 2017 Mar 9.
Department of Molecular Medicine, SAPIENZA Unversity of Rome, Viale Regina Elena 291, 00161, Rome, Italy.
SHH Medulloblastoma (SHH-MB) is a pediatric brain tumor characterized by an inappropriate activation of the developmental Hedgehog (Hh) signaling. SHH-MB patients treated with the FDA-approved vismodegib, an Hh inhibitor that targets the transmembrane activator Smoothened (Smo), have shown the rapid development of drug resistance and tumor relapse due to novel Smo mutations. Moreover, a subset of patients did not respond to vismodegib because mutations were localized downstream of Smo. Thus, targeting downstream Hh components is now considered a preferable approach. We show here that selective inhibition of the downstream Hh effectors HDAC1 and HDAC2 robustly counteracts SHH-MB growth in mouse models. These two deacetylases are upregulated in tumor and their knockdown inhibits Hh signaling and decreases tumor growth. We demonstrate that mocetinostat (MGCD0103), a selective HDAC1/HDAC2 inhibitor, is a potent Hh inhibitor and that its effect is linked to Gli1 acetylation at K518. Of note, we demonstrate that administration of mocetinostat to mouse models of SHH-MB drastically reduces tumor growth, by reducing proliferation and increasing apoptosis of tumor cells and prolongs mouse survival rate. Collectively, these data demonstrate the preclinical efficacy of targeting the downstream HDAC1/2-Gli1 acetylation in the treatment of SHH-MB.