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Biochem Pharmacol. 2005 May 15;69(10):1501-8.

Histone deacetylases inhibition and tumor cells cytotoxicity by CNS-active VPA constitutional isomers and derivatives.

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Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Ein Kerem, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel.


The tumor cells toxicity of the antiepileptic drug valproic acid (VPA) has been associated with the inhibition of histone deacetylases (HDACs). We have assessed, in comparison to VPA, the HDACs inhibition and tumor cells cytotoxicities of CNS-active VPA's constitutional isomers, valnoctic acid (VCA), propylisopropylacetic acid (PIA), diisopropylacetic acid (DIA), VPA's cyclopropyl analogue 2,2,3,3-tetramethylcyclopropanecarboxylic acid (TMCA) and VPA's metabolites, 2-ene-VPA and 4-ene-VPA, all possessing, as does VPA, eight carbon atoms in their structures. The aim was to define structural components of the VPA molecule that are involved in HDACs inhibition and tumor cells cytotoxicity. HDACs inhibition by the above-mentioned compounds was estimated using an acetylated lysine substrate and HeLa nuclear extract as a HDACs source. SW620 cells were used for assessing HDACs inhibition in vivo. The cytotoxicity of these compounds was assessed in SW620 and 1106mel cells. HDAC inhibition potency was the highest for VPA and 4-ene-VPA (IC(50)=1.5mM each). 2-Ene-VPA inhibited HDACs with IC(50)=2.8mM. IC(50) values of the other tested compounds for HDACs inhibition were higher than 5mM, 4-ene-VPA and VPA induced histone hyperacetylation in SW620 cells. 4-Ene-VPA and VPA at 2mM each were also most potent in reducing cell viability, to 59+/-2.0% and 67.3+/-5.4%, respectively, compared to control. VCA, PIA, DIA, TMCA, 2-ene-VPA and valpromide (VPD) did not reduce viability to less than 80%. All tested compounds did not significantly affect the cell cycle of SW620 cells. In conclusion, in comparison to the VPA derivatives and constitutional isomers tested in this study, VPA had the optimal chemical structure in terms of HDACs inhibition and tumor cells cytotoxicity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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