The epigenetic modifier, valproic acid, enhances radiation sensitivity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Valproic acid is an established therapeutic for a variety of seizure disorders and in certain cases for depression and anxiety. In addition, valproic acid has been shown to possess histone deacetylase inhibition activity and is currently being investigated as an anti-cancer agent, either alone or in combination with other conventional cancer therapies such as ionizing radiation. In this study, we investigated whether valproic acid modulates cellular responses to radiation in human erythroleukemic, K562 cells. Hyperacetylation of nuclear histones 3 and 4 was used to correlate the effects of valproic acid to inhibition of histone deacetylase activity, clonogenic survival, apoptosis and apoptosis. The findings from the clonogenic survival and caspase induction assays indicated that pretreatment of cells with valproic acid for 24 hours, markedly enhanced radiation induced cell-death and apoptosis in K562 cells, respectively. Mechanisms involving drug-mediated cytotoxicity and changes in cell cycle distribution were associated with the radiation sensitizing properties of valproic acid, particularly at the higher concentrations. Overall, our findings are consistent with the general consensus that HDAC inhibitors efficiently sensitize cancer cells to the effects of ionizing radiation and support the idea of developing clinically relevant combinations of HDAC inhibitors and radiotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-137
Number of pages7
JournalEpigenetics
Volume1
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006

Keywords

  • HDAC inhibitor
  • Histone acetylation
  • Radiation sensitivity
  • Radiosensitizer
  • Valproic acid

Cite this

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The epigenetic modifier, valproic acid, enhances radiation sensitivity. / Karagiannis, Tom C.; Kn, Harikrishnan; El-Osta, Assam.

In: Epigenetics, Vol. 1, No. 3, 01.01.2006, p. 131-137.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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