Selective targeting of HDAC1/2 elicits anticancer effects through Gli1 acetylation in preclinical models of SHH Medulloblastoma

Sonia Coni, Anna Barbara Mancuso, Laura Di Magno, Giulia Sdruscia, Simona Manni, Silvia Maria Serrao, Dante Rotili, Eleonora Spiombi, Francesca Bufalieri, Marialaura Petroni, Monika Kusio-Kobialka, Enrico De Smaele, Elisabetta Ferretti, Carlo Capalbo, Antonello Mai, Pawel Niewiadomski, Isabella Screpanti, Lucia Di Marcotullio, Gianluca Canettieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


SHH Medulloblastoma (SHH-MB) is a pediatric brain tumor characterized by an inappropriate activation of the developmental Hedgehog (Hh) signaling. SHH-MB patients treated with the FDA-approved vismodegib, an Hh inhibitor that targets the transmembrane activator Smoothened (Smo), have shown the rapid development of drug resistance and tumor relapse due to novel Smo mutations. Moreover, a subset of patients did not respond to vismodegib because mutations were localized downstream of Smo. Thus, targeting downstream Hh components is now considered a preferable approach. We show here that selective inhibition of the downstream Hh effectors HDAC1 and HDAC2 robustly counteracts SHH-MB growth in mouse models. These two deacetylases are upregulated in tumor and their knockdown inhibits Hh signaling and decreases tumor growth. We demonstrate that mocetinostat (MGCD0103), a selective HDAC1/HDAC2 inhibitor, is a potent Hh inhibitor and that its effect is linked to Gli1 acetylation at K518. Of note, we demonstrate that administration of mocetinostat to mouse models of SHH-MB drastically reduces tumor growth, by reducing proliferation and increasing apoptosis of tumor cells and prolongs mouse survival rate. Collectively, these data demonstrate the preclinical efficacy of targeting the downstream HDAC1/2-Gli1 acetylation in the treatment of SHH-MB.

Original languageEnglish
Article number44079
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - Mar 9 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Selective targeting of HDAC1/2 elicits anticancer effects through Gli1 acetylation in preclinical models of SHH Medulloblastoma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this