IDH1R132H Causes Resistance to HDAC Inhibitors by Increasing NANOG in Glioblastoma Cells

Int J Mol Sci. 2019 May 31;20(11):2679. doi: 10.3390/ijms20112679.


The R132H mutation in isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1R132H) is commonly observed and associated with better survival in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a malignant brain tumor. However, the functional role of IDH1R132H as a molecular target for GBM treatment is not completely understood. In this study, we found that the overexpression of IDH1R132H suppresses cell growth, cell cycle progression and motility in U87MG glioblastoma cells. Based on cell viability and apoptosis assays, we found that IDH1R132H-overexpressing U87MG and U373MG cells are resistant to the anti-cancer effect of histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi), such as trichostatin A (TSA), vorinostat (SAHA), and valproic acid. Octyl-(R)-2-hydroxyglutarate (Octyl-2HG), which is a membrane-permeable precursor form of the oncometabolite (R)-2-hydroxyglutarate (R-2HG) produced in IDH1-mutant tumor cells, significantly increased HDACi resistance in glioblastoma cells. Mechanistically, IDH1R132H and Octyl-2HG enhanced the promoter activation of NANOG via increased H3K4-3Me, consequently increasing NANOG mRNA and protein expression. Indeed, HDACi resistance was attenuated in IDH1R132H-expressing glioblastoma cells by the suppression of NANOG using small interfering RNAs. Furthermore, we found that AGI-5198, a selective inhibitor of IDH1R132H, significantly attenuates HDACi resistance and NANOG expression IDH1R132H-expressing glioblastoma cells. These results suggested that IDH1R132H is a potential molecular target for HDACi-based therapy for GBM.

Keywords: Glioblastoma; HDACi; IDH1R132H; NANOG; chemoresistance.

MeSH terms

  • Brain Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Brain Neoplasms / genetics
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Glioblastoma / drug therapy*
  • Glioblastoma / genetics
  • Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Isocitrate Dehydrogenase / genetics*
  • Nanog Homeobox Protein / genetics*
  • Point Mutation
  • Up-Regulation


  • Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors
  • NANOG protein, human
  • Nanog Homeobox Protein
  • Isocitrate Dehydrogenase
  • IDH1 protein, human