Histone deacetylase 8 in neuroblastoma tumorigenesis

Document Type


Publication Date



Purpose: The effects of pan-histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors on cancer cells have shown that HDACs are involved in fundamental tumor biological processes such as cell cycle control, differentiation, and apoptosis. However, because of the unselective nature of these compounds, little is known about the contribution of individual HDAC family members to tumorigenesis and progression. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the role of individual HDACs in neuroblastoma tumorigenesis. Experimental Design: We have investigated the mRNA expression of all HDAC1-11 family members in a large cohort of primary neuroblastoma samples covering the full spectrum of the disease. HDACs associated with disease stage and survival were subsequently functionally evaluated in cell culture models. Results: Only HDAC8 expression was significantly correlated with advanced disease and metastasis and down-regulated in stage 4S neuroblastoma associated with spontaneous regression. High HDAC8 expression was associated with poor prognostic markers and poor overall and event-free survival. The knockdown of HDAC8 resulted in the inhibition of proliferation, reduced clonogenic growth, cell cycle arrest, and differentiation in cultured neuroblastoma cells. The treatment of neuroblastoma ceil lines as well as short-term-culture neuroblastoma cells with an HDAC8-selective small-molecule inhibitor inhibited cell proliferation and clone formation, induced differentiation, and thus reproduced the HDAC8 knockdown phenotype. Global histone 4 acetylation was not affected by HDAC8 knockdown or by selective inhibitor treatment. Conclusions: Our data point toward an important role of HDAC8 in neuroblastoma pathogenesis and identify this HDAC family member as a specific drug target for the differentiation therapy of neuroblastoma. © 2009 American Association for Cancer Research.

Publication Name

Clinical Cancer Research

Volume Number


First Page


Last Page


Issue Number




This document is currently not available here.