Research Papers:

The role of HDAC2 in chromatin remodelling and response to chemotherapy in ovarian cancer

Rui Huang, Simon P. Langdon _, Matthew Tse, Peter Mullen, In Hwa Um, Dana Faratian and David J. Harrison

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:4695-4711. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.6618

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Rui Huang1, Simon P Langdon1, Matthew Tse1, Peter Mullen2, In Hwa Um2, Dana Faratian1, David J Harrison2

1Division of Pathology, Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH4 2XU, UK

2School of Medicine, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9TF, UK

Correspondence to:

Simon Langdon, e-mail: simon.langdon@ed.ac.uk

Keywords: HDAC2, chromatin, platinum, ovarian cancer

Received: September 08, 2015     Accepted: November 26, 2015     Published: December 14, 2015


Chromatin undergoes structural changes in response to extracellular and environmental signals. We observed changes in nuclear morphology in cancer tissue biopsied after chemotherapy and hypothesised that these DNA damage-induced changes are mediated by histone deacetylases (HDACs). Nuclear morphological changes in cell lines (PE01 and PE04 models) and a xenograft model (OV1002) were measured in response to platinum chemotherapy by image analysis of nuclear texture. HDAC2 expression increased in PEO1 cells treated with cisplatin at 24h, which was accompanied by increased expression of heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1). HDAC2 and HP1 expression were also increased after carboplatin treatment in the OV1002 carboplatin-sensitive xenograft model but not in the insensitive HOX424 model. Expression of DNA damage response pathways (pBRCA1, γH2AX, pATM, pATR) showed time-dependent changes after cisplatin treatment. HDAC2 knockdown by siRNA reduced HP1 expression, induced DNA double strand breaks (DSB) measured by γH2AX, and interfered with the activation of DNA damage response induced by cisplatin. Furthermore, HDAC2 depletion affected γH2AX foci formation, cell cycle distribution, and apoptosis triggered by cisplatin, and was additive to the inhibitory effect of cisplatin in cell lines. By inhibiting expression of HDAC2, reversible alterations in chromatin patterns during cisplatin treatment were observed. These results demonstrate quantifiable alterations in nuclear morphology after chemotherapy, and implicate HDAC2 in higher order chromatin changes and cellular DNA damage responses in ovarian cancer cells in vitro and in vivo.

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