Abstract 2106: Combined deacetylase and bromodomain inhibition downregulates ERCC2 and suppresses growth of metastatic colon cancer cells Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract DNA repair genes have potential clinical value in predicting cancer prognosis and treatment outcomes. Nucleotide excision repair (NER) proteins like ERCC2 play a critical role in maintaining genome integrity by recognizing and unwinding DNA at sites of damage1.Aberrant expression of ERCC2 alters NER capacity, influencing treatment outcomes2. The current investigation examined the expression of ERCC2 following epigenetic combination treatment in colorectal cancer (CRC) cells and preclinical models. Attention was drawn to ERCC2 based on three observations. First, from online databases, when ERCC2 was overexpressed in colon tumors the corresponding CRC patients had reduced overall survival3. Second, ERCC2 was the most highly downregulated gene when dietary histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3) inhibitor sulforaphane (SFN) was combined withJQ1, an inhibitor of the bromodomain and extra terminal domain family, in human colon cancer cells and in colon polyps from the polyposis in rat colon (Pirc) model4. Third, as reported here for the first time, RNA-seq analyses of Pirc colon polyps from rats treated withJQ1 and the SFN analog 6-SFN5 identified Ercc2 as the most highly downregulated gene. RNA-seq data were corroborated by RT-qPCR and immunoblotting experiments. There is much interest in combination approaches that target epigenetic readers, writers, and erasers' that are deregulated in cancer and other pathologies. The current work identified promising second-generation inhibitors with enhanced synergy and antitumor efficacy, especially in metastatic cells cultured in three-dimensions. Drug combinations decreased HDAC3, BRD4 and ERCC2 expression, while DNA damage and apoptosis markers were increased both in spheroids and in a mouse xenograft model. This investigation has potential clinical relevance for the identification of robust biomarkers that predict enhanced antitumor outcomes in CRC patients.1. Gillet LC, Schrer OD. Molecular mechanisms of mammalian global genome nucleotide excision repair. Chem Rev 2006;106:253-76.2. Shuck SC, Short EA, Turchi JJ. Eukaryotic nucleotide excision repair: from understanding mechanisms to influencing biology. Cell Res 2008;18:64-72.3. Liu J et al., The Differential Expression of Core Genes in Nucleotide Excision Repair Pathway Indicates Colorectal Carcinogenesis and Prognosis. Biomed Res Int 2018;2018:9651320.4. Rajendran P et al., Acetylation of CCAR2 establishes a BET/BRD9 acetyl switch in response to combined deacetylase and bromodomain inhibition. Cancer Res 2019;79:918-27.5. Rajendran Pet al., HDAC turnover, CtIP acetylation and dysregulated DNA damage signaling in colon cancer cell treated with sulforaphane and related dietary isothiocyanates. Epigenetics 2013;8:612-23. Citation Format: Sabeeta Kapoor, Trace Gustafson, Mutian Zhang, Ying-Shiuan Chen, Jia Li, Nhung Nguyen, Jorge Enrique Perez, Wan Mohaiza Dashwood, Praveen Rajendran, Roderick Dashwood. Combined deacetylase and bromodomain inhibition downregulates ERCC2 and suppresses growth of metastatic colon cancer cells [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2021; 2021 Apr 10-15 and May 17-21. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2021;81(13_Suppl):Abstract nr 2106.

published proceedings

  • Cancer Research

author list (cited authors)

  • Kapoor, S., Gustafson, T., Zhang, M., Chen, Y., Li, J., Nguyen, N., ... Dashwood, R.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Kapoor, Sabeeta||Gustafson, Trace||Zhang, Mutian||Chen, Ying-Shiuan||Li, Jia||Nguyen, Nhung||Perez, Jorge Enrique||Dashwood, Wan Mohaiza||Rajendran, Praveen||Dashwood, Roderick

publication date

  • July 2021