Reexpression of tumor suppressor, sFRP1, leads to antitumor synergy of combined HDAC and methyltransferase inhibitors in chemoresistant cancers

Simon J. Cooper, Christina A. Von Roemeling, Kylie H. Kang, Laura A. Marlow, Stefan K. Grebe, Michael E. Menefee, Han W. Tun, Gerardo Colon-Otero, Edith A. Perez, John A. Copland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Metastatic solid tumors are aggressive and mostly drug resistant, leading to few treatment options and poor prognosis as seen with clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) and triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Therefore, the identification of new therapeutic regimes for the treatment of metastatic disease is desirable. ccRCC and TNBC cell lines were treated with the HDAC inhibitor romidepsin and the methyltransferase inhibitor decitabine, two epigenetic modifying drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of various hematologic malignancies. Cell proliferation analysis, flow cytometry, quantitative PCR, and immunoblotting techniques were used to evaluate the antitumor synergy of this drug combination and identify the reexpression of epigenetically silenced tumor suppressor genes. Combinatorial treatment of metastatic TNBC and stage IV ccRCC cell lines with romidepsin/decitabine leads to synergistic inhibition of cell growth and induction of apoptosis above levels of individual drug treatments alone. Synergistic reexpression of the tumor suppressor gene secreted frizzled-related protein one (sFRP1) was observed in combinatorial drug-treated groups. Silencing sFRP1 (short hairpin RNA) before combinatorial drug treatment showed that sFRP1 mediates the growth inhibitory and apoptotic activity of combined romidepsin/decitabine. Furthermore, addition of recombinant sFRP1 to ccRCC or TNBC cells inhibits cell growth in a dose-dependent manner through the induction of apoptosis, identifying that epigenetic silencing of sFRP1 contributes to renal and breast cancer cell survival. Combinatorial treatment with romidepsin and decitabine in drug resistant tumors is a promising treatment strategy. Moreover, recombinant sFRP1 may be a novel therapeutic strategy for cancers with suppressed sFRP1 expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2105-2115
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular cancer therapeutics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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