MS-275 sensitizes TRAIL-resistant breast cancer cells, inhibits angiogenesis and metastasis, and reverses epithelial-mesenchymal transition in vivo

Mol Cancer Ther. 2010 Dec;9(12):3254-66. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-10-0582. Epub 2010 Nov 1.


Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors and tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) show promise for the treatment of cancers. The purpose of this study was to examine the molecular mechanisms by which HDAC inhibitor MS-275 sensitizes TRAIL-resistant breast cancer cells in vivo, inhibits angiogenesis and metastasis, and reverses epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). BALB/c nude mice were orthotopically implanted with TRAIL-resistant invasive breast cancer MDA-MB-468 cells and treated intravenously with MS-275, TRAIL, or MS-275 followed by TRAIL, 4 times during first 3 weeks. Treatment of mice with TRAIL alone had no effect on tumor growth, metastasis, angiogenesis, and EMT. In comparison, MS-275 sensitized TRAIL-resistant xenografts by inducing apoptosis, inhibiting tumor cell proliferation, angiogenesis, metastasis, and reversing EMT. Treatment of nude mice with MS-275 resulted in downregulation of NF-κB and its gene products (cyclin D1, Bcl-2, Bcl-X(L), VEGF, HIF-1α, IL-6, IL-8, MMP-2, and MMP-9) and upregulation of DR4, DR5, Bax, Bak, and p21(/CIP1) in tumor cells. Furthermore, MS-275-treated mice showed significantly reduced tumor growth and decreased circulating vascular VEGFR2-positive endothelial cells, CD31-positive or von Willebrand factor-positive blood vessels, and lung metastasis compared with control mice. Interestingly, MS-275 caused "cadherin switch" and reversed EMT as shown by the upregulation of E-cadherin and downregulation of N-cadherin and transcription factors Snail, Slug, and ZEB1. In conclusion, sequential treatments of mice with MS-275 followed by TRAIL may target multiple pathways to reverse EMT and inhibit tumor progression, angiogenesis, and metastasis and represent a novel therapeutic approach to treat cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Benzamides / pharmacology*
  • Benzamides / therapeutic use
  • Breast Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Breast Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Caspase 3 / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / drug effects*
  • Drug Synergism
  • Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / drug therapy*
  • Pyridines / pharmacology*
  • Pyridines / therapeutic use
  • TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand / pharmacology*
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • Benzamides
  • Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Pyridines
  • TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand
  • entinostat
  • Caspase 3