Tenovin-D3, a novel small-molecule inhibitor of sirtuin SirT2, increases p21 (CDKN1A) expression in a p53-independent manner

Anna R. McCarthy, Marijke C.C. Sachweh, Maureen Higgins, Johanna Campbell, Catherine J. Drummond, Ingeborg M.M. Van Leeuwen, Lisa Pirrie, Marcus J.G.W. Ladds, Nicholas J. Westwood, Sonia Laín*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


While small-molecule inhibitors of class I/II histone deacetylases (HDAC) have been approved for cancer treatment, inhibitors of the sirtuins (a family of class III HDACs) still require further validation and optimization to enter clinical trials. Recent studies show that tenovin-6, a small-molecule inhibitor of sirtuins SirT1 and SirT2, reduces tumor growth in vivo and eliminates leukemic stem cells in a murine model for chronic myelogenous leukemia. Here, we describe a tenovin analogue, tenovin-D3, that preferentially inhibits sirtuin SirT2 and induces predicted phenotypes for SirT2 inhibition. Unlike tenovin-6 and in agreement with its weak effect on SirT1 (a p53 deacetylase), tenovin-D3 fails to increase p53 levels or transcription factor activity. However, tenovin-D3 promotes expression of the cell-cycle regulator and p53 target p21WAF1/CIP1 (CDKN1A) in a p53-independent manner. Structure-activity relationship studies strongly support that the ability of tenovin-D3 to inhibit SirT2 contributes to this p53-independent induction of p21. The ability of tenovin-D3 to increase p21mRNAand protein levels is shared with class I/IIHDACinhibitors currently used in the clinic and therefore suggests that SirT2 inhibition and class I/II HDAC inhibitors have similar effects on cell-cycle progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-360
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Cancer Therapeutics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2013


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