Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) are emerging as anti-hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) agents. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying HDACi-induced sensitization to oxidative stress and cell death of HCC remain elusive. We hypothesized that HDACi reduces the anti-oxidative stress capacity of HCC, rendering it more susceptible to oxidative stress and cell death. Change in the transcriptome of HCC was analyzed by RNA-seq and validated using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and Western blot. Cell death of HCC was analyzed by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). Protein localization and binding on the target gene promoters were investigated by immunofluorescence (IF) and chromatin immunoprecipita-tion (ChIP), respectively. Glutathione peroxidase 8 (GPX8) was highly down-regulated in HCC upon oxidative stress and HDACi co-treatment. Oxidative stress and HDACi enhanced the expression and transcriptional activities of ER-stress-related genes. N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) supplemen-tation reversed the oxidative stress and HDACi-induced apoptosis in HCC. HDACi significantly enhanced the effect of ER stressors on HCC cell death. GPX8 overexpression reversed the activation of ER stress signaling and apoptosis induced by oxidative stress and HDACi. In conclusion, HDACi suppresses the expression of GPX8, which sensitizes HCC to ER stress and apoptosis by oxidative stress.
- ER stress
- Oxidative stress