Optimized dose selective HDAC inhibitor tucidinostat overcomes anti-PD-L1 antibody resistance in experimental solid tumors

BMC Med. 2022 Nov 9;20(1):435. doi: 10.1186/s12916-022-02598-5.


Background: Although immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have influenced the treatment paradigm for multiple solid tumors, increasing evidence suggests that primary and adaptive resistance may limit the long-term efficacy of ICIs. New therapeutic strategies with other drug combinations are hence warranted to enhance the antitumor efficacy of ICIs. As a novel tumor suppressor, histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor tucidinostat has been successfully confirmed to act against hematological malignancies. However, the underlying mechanisms of action for tucidinostat and whether it can manipulate the tumor microenvironment (TME) in solid tumors remain unclear.

Methods: Three murine tumor models (4T1, LLC, and CT26) were developed to define the significant role of different doses of tucidinostat in TME. The immunotherapeutic effect of tucidinostat combined with anti-programmed cell death ligand 1 antibody (aPD-L1) was demonstrated. Furthermore, the effect of tucidinostat on phenotypic characteristics of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from lung cancer patients was investigated.

Results: With an optimized dose, tucidinostat could alter TME and promote the migration and infiltration of CD8+ T cells into tumors, partially by increasing the activity of C-C motif chemokine ligand 5 (CCL5) via NF-κB signaling. Moreover, tucidinostat significantly promoted M1 polarization of macrophages and increased the in vivo antitumor efficacy of aPD-L1. Tucidinostat also enhanced the expression of the costimulatory molecules on human monocytes, suggesting a novel and improved antigen-presenting function.

Conclusions: A combination regimen of tucidinostat and aPD-L1 may work synergistically to reduce tumor burden in patients with cancer by enhancing the immune function and provided a promising treatment strategy to overcome ICI treatment resistance.

Keywords: CCL5; PD-L1; Solid tumor; Tucidinostat; Tumor microenvironment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors* / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Mice
  • Tumor Microenvironment


  • CD274 protein, human
  • Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors
  • N-(2-amino-5-fluorobenzyl)-4-(N-(pyridine-3-acrylyl)aminomethyl)benzamide