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J Biol Chem. 2011 Sep 2;286(35):30937-48. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.212035. Epub 2011 Jul 8.

Histone deacetylase inhibitor belinostat represses survivin expression through reactivation of transforming growth factor beta (TGFbeta) receptor II leading to cancer cell death.

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Eppley Institute for Research in Cancer, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska 68198-7696, USA.


Survivin is a cancer-associated gene that functions to promote cell survival, cell division, and angiogenesis and is a marker of poor prognosis. Histone deacetylase inhibitors induce apoptosis and re-expression of epigenetically silenced tumor suppressor genes in cancer cells. In association with increased expression of the tumor suppressor gene transforming growth factor β receptor II (TGFβRII) induced by the histone deacetylase inhibitor belinostat, we observed repressed survivin expression. We investigated the molecular mechanisms involved in survivin down-regulation by belinostat downstream of reactivation of TGFβ signaling. We identified two mechanisms. At early time points, survivin protein half-life was decreased with its proteasomal degradation. We observed that belinostat activated protein kinase A at early time points in a TGFβ signaling-dependent mechanism. After longer times (48 h), survivin mRNA was also decreased by belinostat. We made the novel observation that belinostat mediated cell death through the TGFβ/protein kinase A signaling pathway. Induction of TGFβRII with concomitant survivin repression may represent a significant mechanism in the anticancer effects of this drug. Therefore, patient populations exhibiting high survivin expression with epigenetically silenced TGFβRII might potentially benefit from the use of this histone deacetylase inhibitor.

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