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Cancer Res. 2010 Jan 15;70(2):646-54. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-1924. Epub 2010 Jan 12.

Chemopreventive agent 3,3'-diindolylmethane selectively induces proteasomal degradation of class I histone deacetylases.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota 58108, USA.


3,3'-Diindolylmethane (DIM) is an anticancer agent that induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis through unknown mechanisms. Here, we report that DIM can selectively induce proteasome-mediated degradation of class I histone deacetylases (HDAC1, HDAC2, HDAC3, and HDAC8) without affecting the class II HDAC proteins. DIM induced downregulation of class I HDACs in human colon cancer cells in vitro and in vivo in tumor xenografts. HDAC depletion relieved HDAC-mediated transcriptional inhibition of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors p21WAF1 and p27KIP2, significantly increasing their expression and triggering cell cycle arrest in the G(2) phase of the cell cycle. Additionally, HDAC depletion was associated with an induction of DNA damage that triggered apoptosis. Our findings indicate that DIM acts to selectively target the degradation of class I HDACs.

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