Objectives: Non-selective histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors (HDACi) have demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties in both in vitro and in vivo models of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Here, we investigated the potential contribution of specific class I and class IIb HDACs to inflammatory gene expression in RA fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS).
Methods: RA FLS were incubated with pan-HDACi (ITF2357, givinostat) or selective HDAC1/2i, HDAC3/6i, HDAC6i and HDAC8i. Alternatively, FLS were transfected with HDAC3, HDAC6 or interferon (IFN)-α/β receptor alpha chain (IFNAR1) siRNA. mRNA expression of interleukin (IL)-1β-inducible genes was measured by quantitative PCR (qPCR) array and signalling pathway activation by immunoblotting and DNA-binding assays.
Results: HDAC3/6i, but not HDAC1/2i and HDAC8i, significantly suppressed the majority of IL-1β-inducible genes targeted by pan-HDACi in RA FLS. Silencing of HDAC3 expression reproduced the effects of HDAC3/6i on gene regulation, contrary to HDAC6-specific inhibition and HDAC6 silencing. Screening of the candidate signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT)1 transcription factor revealed that HDAC3/6i abrogated STAT1 Tyr701 phosphorylation and DNA binding, but did not affect STAT1 acetylation. HDAC3 activity was required for type I IFN production and subsequent STAT1 activation in FLS. Suppression of type I IFN release by HDAC3/6i resulted in reduced expression of a subset of IFN-dependent genes, including the chemokines CXCL9 and CXCL11.
Conclusions: Inhibition of HDAC3 in RA FLS largely recapitulates the effects of pan-HDACi in suppressing inflammatory gene expression, including type I IFN production in RA FLS. Our results identify HDAC3 as a potential therapeutic target in the treatment of RA and type I IFN-driven autoimmune diseases.
Keywords: Cytokines; Fibroblasts; Inflammation; Rheumatoid Arthritis.
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