Inhibitors of histone deacetylases induce tumor-selective cytotoxicity through modulating Aurora-A kinase

Jung Hyun Park, Hyun Soon Jong, Sang Gyun Kim, Yeonjoo Jung, Keun Wook Lee, Ju Hee Lee, Dae Kee Kim, Yung Jue Bang, Tae You Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


The molecular basis of the antitumor selectivity of histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDIs) remains unclear. Centrosomal Aurora-A kinase regulates chromosomal segregation during mitosis. The overexpression or amplification of Aurora-A leads to genetic instability, and its inhibition has shown significant antitumor effects. In this paper, we report that structurally related hydroxamate LAQ824 and SK-7068 induce tumor-selective mitotic defects by depleting Aurora-A. We found that HDI-treated cancer cells, unlike nontransformed cells, exhibit defective mitotic spindles. After HDI, Aurora-A was selectively downregulated in cancer cells, whereas Aurora-B remained unchanged in both cancer and nontransformed cells. LAQ824 or SK-7068 treatment inhibited histone deacetylase (HDAC) 6 present in Aurora-A/heat shock protein (Hsp) 90 complex. Inhibition of HDAC6 acetylated Hsp90 and resulted in dissociation of acetylated Hsp90 from Aurora-A. As a result, Hsp70 binding to Aurora-A was enhanced in cancer cells, leading to proteasomal degradation of Aurora-A. Overall, these provide a novel molecular basis of tumor selectivity of HDI. LAQ824 and SK-7068 might be more effective HDIs in cancer cells with Aurora-A overexpression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-128
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Molecular Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments We thank Kyung-Sun Kang for the M13SV1 cells and Keith Robertson for reviewing this manuscript. We also thank the members of Dr. Bang’s laboratory for helpful discussion. This work was supported by the Korean Ministry of Science and Technology through the National Research Laboratory Program for Cancer Epigenetics and in part by the Cancer Research Institute, Seoul National University College of Medicine (Grant no. CRI-03-05).


  • Aurora-A
  • Histone deacetylase inhibitor
  • LAQ824
  • SK-7068


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