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Oncology. 2004;66(6):481-91.

Cell growth inhibition and gene expression induced by the histone deacetylase inhibitor, trichostatin A, on human hepatoma cells.

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  • 1Department of Medicine and Clinical Oncology, Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University, Inohana, Chuo Ward, Japan.



Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors have been reported to induce cell growth arrest, apoptosis and differentiation in tumor cells. The effect of the HDAC inhibitor, trichostatin A (TSA), on hepatoma cells, however, has not been well studied. In this study, we examined cell viability and gene expression profile in hepatoma cell lines treated with TSA.


To study cell growth inhibition and induction of apoptosis by TSA on human hepatoma cell lines including HuH7, Hep3B, HepG2, and PLC/PRF/5, cells were treated with TSA at various concentrations and analyzed by the 3-(4, 5-dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)-2H-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) and TUNEL assays, respectively. Changes in gene expression profile after exposure to TSA were assessed using a cDNA microarray consisting of 557 distinct cDNA of cancer-related genes. The levels of acetylated histones were examined by the chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay using anti-acetylated histone H3 or H4 antibody.


The MTT assay demonstrated that TSA showed cell growth inhibition not only in a concentration-dependent but also a time-dependent manner on all cell lines studied. The TUNEL assay also revealed the potential of TSA to induce apoptosis. The microarray analysis revealed that 8 genes including collagen type 1, alpha2 (COL1A2), insulin-like growth factor binding protein 2 (IGFBP2), integrin, alpha7 (ITGA7), basigin (BSG), quiescin Q6 (QSCN6), superoxide dismutase 3, extracellular (SOD3), nerve growth factor receptor (NGFR), and p53-induced protein (PIG11) exhibited substantial induction (ratio >2.0) after TSA treatment in multiple cell lines. ChIP assay, in general, showed a good correlation between the expression level of mRNA and levels of acetylated histones in these upregulated genes.


This study showed cell growth inhibition and the gene expression profile in hepatoma cell lines exposed to TSA. The alteration in levels of acetylated histones was closely associated with expression of specific cancer-related genes in hepatoma cells.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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