Upregulation of class I histone deacetylases (HDAC) correlates with poor prognosis in colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. Previous study revealed that (E)-N-hydroxy-3-(1-(4-methoxyphenylsulfonyl)-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroquinolin-6- yl)acrylamide (Compound 11) is a potent and selective class I HDAC inhibitor, exhibited significant anti-proliferative activity in various human cancer cell lines. In current study, we demonstrated that compound 11 exhibited significant anti-proliferative and cytotoxic activity in CRC cells. Notably, compound 11 was less potent than SAHA in inhibiting HDAC6 as evident from the lower expression of acetyl-a-tubulin, suggesting higher selectivity for class I HDACs. Mechanistically, compound 11 induced cell-cycle arrest at the G2/M phase, activated both intrinsic- and extrinsic-apoptotic pathways, altered the expression of Bcl-2 family proteins and exerted a potent inhibitory effect on survival signals (p-Akt, p-ERK) in CRC cells. Moreover, we provide evidence that compound 11 suppressed motility, decreased mesenchymal markers (N-cadherin and vimentin) and increased epithelial marker (E-cadherin) through downregulation of Akt. The anti-tumor activity and underlying molecular mechanisms of compound 11 were further confirmed using the HCT116 xenograft model in vivo. Our findings provide evidence of the significant anti-tumor activity of compound 11 in a preclinical model, supporting its potential as a novel therapeutic agent for CRC.
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