Valproic Acid Promotes Apoptosis and Cisplatin Sensitivity Through Downregulation of H19 Noncoding RNA in Ovarian A2780 Cells

Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2018 Aug;185(4):1132-1144. doi: 10.1007/s12010-017-2684-0. Epub 2018 Feb 22.


Cisplatin resistance is one of the main limitations in the treatment of ovarian cancer, which is partly mediated by long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs). H19 is a lncRNA involving in cisplatin resistance in cancers. Valproic acid (VPA) is a commonly used drug for clinical treatment of seizure disorders. In addition, this drug may display its effects through regulation of noncoding RNAs controlling gene expression. The aim of the present study was the investigation of VPA treatment effect on H19 expression in ovarian cancer cells and also the relation of the H19 levels with apoptosis and cisplatin resistance. Briefly, treatment with VPA not only led to significant increase in apoptosis rate, but also increased the cisplatin sensitivity of A2780/CP cells. We found that following VPA treatment, the expression of H19 and EZH2 decreased, but the expression of p21 and PTEN increased significantly. To investigate the involvement of H19 in VPA-induced apoptosis and cisplatin sensitivity, H19 was inhibited by a specific siRNA. Our results demonstrate that H19 knockdown by siRNA induced apoptosis and sensitized the A2780/CP cells to cisplatin-induced cytotoxicity. These data indicated that VPA negatively regulates the expression of H19 in ovarian cancer cells, which subsequently leads to apoptosis induction, cell proliferation inhibition, and overwhelming to cisplatin resistance. The implication of H19→EZH2→p21/PTEN pathway by VPA treatment suggests that we could repurpose an old drug, valproic acid, as an effective drug for treatment of ovarian cancer in the future.

Keywords: Cisplatin; EZH2; H19; Ovarian cancer; Valproic acid.

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Down-Regulation / drug effects*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / biosynthesis*
  • RNA, Neoplasm / biosynthesis*
  • Valproic Acid / pharmacology*


  • H19 long non-coding RNA
  • RNA, Long Noncoding
  • RNA, Neoplasm
  • Valproic Acid