Biomol Ther.  2020 Mar;28(2):184-194. 10.4062/biomolther.2019.074.

A New Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor, MHY4381, Induces Apoptosis via Generation of Reactive Oxygen Species in Human Prostate Cancer Cells

  • 1School of Pharmacy, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon 16419, Republic of Korea
  • 2College of Pharmacy, Pusan National University, Busan 46241, Republic of Korea
  • 3Major in Pharmaceutical Engineering, Division of Bioindustry, College of Medical and Life Sciences, Silla University, Busan 46958, Republic of Korea


Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors represent a novel class of anticancer agents, which can be used to inhibit cell proliferation and induce apoptosis in several types of cancer cells. In this study, we investigated the anticancer activity of MHY4381, a newly synthesized HDAC inhibitor, against human prostate cancer cell lines and compared its efficacy with that of suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA), a well-known HDAC inhibitor. We assessed cell viability, apoptosis, cell cycle regulation, and other biological effects in the prostate cancer cells. We also evaluated a possible mechanism of MHY4381 on the apoptotic cell death pathway. The IC50 value of MHY4381 was lower in DU145 cells (IC50=0.31 μM) than in LNCaP (IC50=0.85 μM) and PC-3 cells (IC50=5.23 μM). In addition, the IC50 values of MHY4381 measured in this assay were significantly lower than those of SAHA against prostate cancer cell lines. MHY4381 increased the levels of acetylated histones H3 and H4 and reduced the expression of HDAC proteins in the prostate cancer cell lines. MHY4381 increased G2/M phase arrest in DU145 cells, and G1 arrest in LNCaP cells. It also activated reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, which induced apoptosis in the DU145 and LNCaP cells by increasing the ratio of Bax/Bcl-2 and releasing cytochrome c into the cytoplasm. Our results indicated that MHY4381 preferentially results in antitumor effects in DU145 and LNCaP cells via mitochondria-mediated apoptosis and ROS-facilitated cell death pathway, and therefore can be used as a promising prostate cancer therapeutic.


HDAC inhibitor; MHY4381; Prostate cancer; Apoptosis; Reactive oxygen species
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