Preclinical studies reveal that LSD1 inhibition results in tumor growth arrest in lung adenocarcinoma independently of driver mutations

Mol Oncol. 2018 Nov;12(11):1965-1979. doi: 10.1002/1878-0261.12382. Epub 2018 Oct 13.


Lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) is the most prevalent subtype of non-small cell lung cancer. Despite the development of novel targeted and immune therapies, the 5-year survival rate is still only 21%, indicating the need for more efficient treatment regimens. Lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1) is an epigenetic eraser that modifies histone 3 methylation status, and is highly overexpressed in LUAD. Using representative human cell culture systems and two autochthonous transgenic mouse models, we investigated inhibition of LSD1 as a novel therapeutic option for treating LUAD. The reversible LSD1 inhibitor HCI-2509 significantly reduced cell growth with an IC50 of 0.3-5 μmin vitro, which was linked to an enhancement of histone 3 lysine methylation. Most importantly, growth arrest, as well as inhibition of the invasion capacities, was independent of the underlying driver mutations. Subsequent expression profiling revealed that the cell cycle and replication machinery were prominently affected after LSD1 inhibition. In addition, our data provide evidence that LSD1 blockade significantly interferes with EGFR downstream signaling. Finally, our in vitro results were confirmed by preclinical therapeutic approaches, including the use of two autochthonous transgenic LUAD mouse models driven by either EGFR or KRAS mutations. Importantly, LSD1 inhibition resulted in significantly lower tumor formation and a strong reduction in tumor progression, which were independent of the underlying mutational background of the mouse models. Hence, our findings provide substantial evidence indicating that tumor growth of LUAD can be markedly decreased by HCI-2509 treatment, suggesting its use as a single agent maintenance therapy or combined therapeutical application in novel concerted drug approaches.

Keywords: HCI-2509; KDM1A; LSD1; epigenetic alterations; histone methylation; lung adenocarcinoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma of Lung / drug therapy*
  • Adenocarcinoma of Lung / enzymology
  • Adenocarcinoma of Lung / genetics
  • Adenocarcinoma of Lung / pathology
  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Histone Demethylases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Histone Demethylases / genetics
  • Histone Demethylases / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Lung Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Neoplasm Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / enzymology
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / genetics
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Histone Demethylases
  • KDM1a protein, mouse
  • KDM1A protein, human