Transcript, methylation and molecular docking analyses of the effects of HDAC inhibitors, SAHA and Dacinostat, on SMN2 expression in fibroblasts of SMA patients

Several histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACis) are known to increase Survival Motor Neuron 2 (SMN2expression for the therapy of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). We aimed to compare the effects of suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA) and Dacinostat, a novel HDACi, on SMN2 expression and to elucidate their acetylation effects on the methylation of the SMN2. Cell-based assays using type I and type II SMAfibroblasts examined changes in transcript expressions, methylation levels and protein expressions. In silico methods analyzed the intermolecular interactions between each compound and HDAC2/HDAC7. SMN2 mRNA transcript levels and SMN protein levels showed notable increases in both cell types, except for Dacinostat exposure on type II cells. However, combined compound exposures showed less pronounced increase in SMN2 transcript and SMN protein level. Acetylation effects of SAHA and Dacinostat promoted demethylation of the SMN2 promoter. The in silico analyses revealed identical binding sites for both compounds in HDACs, which could explain the limited effectsof the combined exposure. With the exception on the effect of Dacinostat in Type II cells, we have shown that SAHA and Dacinostatincreased SMN2 transcript and protein levels and promoted demethylation of the SMN2 gene.

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