Enzymes involved in the epigenetic regulation of the genome represent promising starting points for therapeutic intervention by small molecules, and DNA methyltransferases (DNMT) are emerging targets for the development of a new class of cancer therapeutics. In this work, we present nanaomycin A, initially identified by a virtual screening for inhibitors against DNMT1, as a compound inducing antiproliferative effects in three different tumor cell lines originating from different tissues. Nanaomycin A treatment reduced the global methylation levels in all three cell lines and reactivated transcription of the RASSF1A tumor suppressor gene. In biochemical assays, nanaomycin A revealed selectivity toward DNMT3B. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first DNMT3B-selective inhibitor identified to induce genomic demethylation. Our study thus establishes the possibility of selectively inhibiting individual DNMT enzymes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research