4sc-202 and Ink-128 cooperate to reverse the epithelial to mesenchymal transition in OSCC

Treatment of oral squamous cell carcinoma remains a challenge due to a high incidence of treatment resistance, which is followed by tumor recrudescence and metastasis to the lymph nodes. Thus, it is important to explore novel inhibitors of OSCC. Here, we aimed to identify drugs that may cooperate with histone deacetylase inhibitors to reverse the EMT, inhibit EMT and cell migration and invasion, and contribute to therapeutic efficacy. We found that treatment with 4sc-202 potently reversed the EMT and thereby inhibited cell migration and invasion in vitro, in part by inducing expression of the FoxO1 tumor-suppressor gene. Furthermore, 4sc-202 also synergized with Ink-128 to inhibit tumor migration and invasion in vitro. Mechanistically, 4sc-202 induced FoxO1 expression, whereas Ink-128 promoted nuclear translocation of FoxO1. Our findings indicated that FoxO1 might reverse the EMT by interacting with Twist1 in OSCC. In conclusion, we identified an effective combination therapy involving class I histone deacetylase and mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1/2 inhibition that effectively blocked the EMT of tumor cells by upregulating FoxO1 expression to inhibit Twist1 transcription. These data have implications for developing new targets for early diagnosis and treatment of OSCC.

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S7555 Domatinostat (4SC-202) Domatinostat (4SC-202) is a selective class I HDAC inhibitor with IC50 of 1.20 μM, 1.12 μM, and 0.57 μM for HDAC1, HDAC2, and HDAC3, respectively. Also displays inhibitory activity against Lysine specific demethylase 1 (LSD1). Phase 1.

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