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Leukemia. 2014 Nov;28(11):2155-64. doi: 10.1038/leu.2014.119. Epub 2014 Apr 4.

Highly effective combination of LSD1 (KDM1A) antagonist and pan-histone deacetylase inhibitor against human AML cells.

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Cancer Center, Houston Methodist Research Institute, Houston, TX, USA.
Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah, UT, Salt Lake City, USA.
Department of Physiology and Developmental Biology, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, USA.


The histone demethylase LSD1 (KDM1A) demethylates mono- and di-methylated (Me2) lysine (K) 4 on histone H3. High LSD1 expression blocks differentiation and confers a poor prognosis in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Here, treatment with the novel LSD1 antagonist SP2509 attenuated the binding of LSD1 with the corepressor CoREST, increased the permissive H3K4Me3 mark on the target gene promoters, and increased the levels of p21, p27 and CCAAT/enhancer binding protein α in cultured AML cells. In addition, SP2509 treatment or LSD1 shRNA inhibited the colony growth of AML cells. SP2509 also induced morphological features of differentiation in the cultured and primary AML blasts. SP2509 induced more apoptosis of AML cells expressing mutant NPM1 than mixed-lineage leukemia fusion oncoproteins. Treatment with SP2509 alone significantly improved the survival of immune-depleted mice following tail-vein infusion and engraftment of cultured or primary human AML cells. Co-treatment with pan-HDAC inhibitor (HDI) panobinostat (PS) and SP2509 was synergistically lethal against cultured and primary AML blasts. Compared with each agent alone, co-treatment with SP2509 and PS significantly improved the survival of the mice engrafted with the human AML cells, without exhibiting any toxicity. Collectively, these findings show that the combination of LSD1 antagonist and pan-HDI is a promising therapy warranting further testing against AML.

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