Suberoylanilide Hydroxyamic Acid Modification of Chromatin Architecture Affects DNA Break Formation and Repair

Sheetal Singh, Hongan Le, Shyh Jen Shih, Bay Ho, Andrew T M Vaughan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: Chromatin-modifying compounds that inhibit the activity of histone deacetylases have shown potency as radiosensitizers, but the action of these drugs at a molecular level is not clear. Here we investigated the effect of suberoylanilide hydroxyamic acid (SAHA) on DNA breaks and their repair and induction of rearrangements. Methods and Materials: The effect of SAHA on both clonogenic survival and repair was assessed using cell lines SCC-25, MCF7, and TK6. In order to study unique DNA double-strand breaks, anti-CD95 antibody was employed to introduce a DNA double-strand break at a known location within the 11q23 region. The effects of SAHA on DNA cleavage and rearrangements were analyzed by ligation-mediated PCR and inverse PCR, respectively. Results: SAHA acts as radiosensitizer at 1 μM, with dose enhancement factors (DEFs) at 10% survival of: SCC-25 - 1.24 ± 0.05; MCF7 - 1.16 ± 0.09 and TK6 - 1.17 ± 0.05, and it reduced the capacity of SCC-25 cells to repair radiation induced lesions. Additionally, SAHA treatment diffused site-specific fragmentation over at least 1 kbp in TK6 cells. Chromosomal rearrangements produced in TK6 cells exposed to SAHA showed a reduction in microhomology at the breakpoint between 11q23 and partner chromosomes. Conclusions: SAHA shows efficacy as a radiosensitizer at clinically obtainable levels. In its presence, targeted DNA strand breaks occur over an expanded region, indicating increased chromatin access. The rejoining of such breaks is degraded by SAHA when measured as rearrangements at the molecular level and rejoining that contributes to cell survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)566-573
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2010


  • DNA double-strand breaks
  • DNA rearrangements
  • Radiosensitizer
  • SAHA
  • Sublethal damage repair

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiation
  • Cancer Research


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