|Fig 1: Rhomidepsin.|
Romidepsin (Also known as FK228, FR 901228, NSC 630176, and Istodax) is , a bicyclic synthesized by a Gram negative bacterium Chromobacterium violaceum. It was reported as a chemical with very low antibacterial activity, but was anti-cancerous drug. It is known to interact with multiple genes involved in neoplasm and can induce apoptosis in target cells. Currently, chemical is owned by Celgene.
LBH-589 or Panobinostat is an experimental drug, developed by Novartis. Chemically it is It is a hydroxamic acid. Other similar drugs include Givinostata and Belinostat. Panobinostat has been recently submitted to FDA for approval, for treating Multiple Myeloma. As per some studies, Pnobinostat represents an excellent pan-HDACi with superior results against HIV.
Fig 2: A shows toxicity in lymphocytes and
U1 cells treated with HDAC inhibitors. B shows cell death in U1 cells
treated with panobinostat. Source
In the recently published PLoS paper by Walker etal, it was shown that romidepsin was toxic and induced death in CTL (Cytotoxic T Lytmphocytes). Toxicity studies have been studied earlier by Tolstrup etal. See Fig 2. This paper shows similar findings. Of concern, All three drugs also rapidly suppressed IFN-gamma. The net effect is there is an impaired ability of CTL to kill HIV-infected immune cells. The very purpose of using HDACi is thus brought under scrutiny.
The findings has put forward a very important question. What will be the Long-term effect of using HDACi as a anti retroviral strategy. It is too early to put forward an answer. For example, Vorinostat has been tried on patients with good results. It is important to note that in the study, the patient is given Anti retroviral therapy (ART) plus HDACi, in which case, impaired CTL is compensated by the drug.
The best answer is a clinical trial. Panobinostat is currently in a phase I/II clinical trial. The trial involved 15 patients receiving oral panobinostat 20 mg 3 times/week every other week for 8 weeks while maintaining combination antiretroviral therapy (cART). The finding was eight weeks of cyclic therapy with panobinostat was safe and well tolerated. These trials are done to assess the safety of the drug. Considering the findings, the next level of trial should answer the effectiveness of such treatment module and its long term effects.
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Ueda H, Nakajima H, Hori Y, Fujita T, Nishimura M, Goto T, & Okuhara M (1994). FR901228, a novel antitumor bicyclic depsipeptide produced by Chromobacterium violaceum No. 968. I. Taxonomy, fermentation, isolation, physico-chemical and biological properties, and antitumor activity. The Journal of antibiotics, 47 (3), 301-10 PMID: 7513682
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