Benzyl and phenethyl isothiocyanates as promising epigenetic drug compounds by modulating histone acetylation and methylation marks in malignant melanoma.
Invest New Drugs. 2021 May 8. Epub 2021 May 8. PMID: 33963962
Melanoma is an aggressive skin cancer with increasing incidence rates globally. On the other hand, isothiocyanates are derived from cruciferous vegetables and are known to exert a wide range of anti-cancer activities including, among others, their ability to interact with the epigenome in order to supress cancer progression. The aim of this study was to determine the role of phenethyl and benzyl isothiocyanates in modulating histone acetylation and methylation as a potential epigenetic therapeutic strategy in an in vitro model of malignant melanoma. We report that both isothiocyanates induced cytotoxicity and influenced acetylation and methylation status of specific lysine residues on histones H3 and H4 by modulating the expression of various histone acetyltransferases, deacetylases and methyltransferases in malignant melanoma cells. Our data highlight novel insights on the interaction of isothiocyanates with components of the histone regulatory machinery in order to exert their anti-cancer action in malignant melanoma.