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Biomedical Research Journal

Volume 2, Issue 1, April 2015, Pages 104–119

Research Article

Human EGFR-2, EGFR and HDAC triple-inhibitor CUDC-101 enhances radiosensitivity of glioblastoma multiforme cells

Cody D. Schlaff1, W. Tristram Arscott1,2,3, Ira Gordon1, Kevin A. Camphausen1 and Anita Tandle1*

1Radiation Oncology Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda MD, USA

2University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT, USA

3Howard Hughes Medical Institute-National Institutes of Health Research Scholars Program, Bethesda, MD, USA


Radiotherapy remains the standard treatment for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) following surgical resection. Given the aberrant expression of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) which may play a role in therapeutic resistance to receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors, and the emerging use of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors as radiosensitizers, we defined the effects of CUDC-101, a triple inhibitor of HER2, EGFR and HDAC on the radiosensitivity of GBM cells. Clonogenic survival was used to determine the in vitro radiosensitizing potential of CUDC-101 on GBM, breast cancer, and normal fibroblast cell lines. Inhibitory activity was defined using immunoblots and DNA double strand breaks were evaluated using γH2AX foci. Effects of CUDC-101 on cell cycle and radiation-induced cell kill were determined using flow cytometry and fluorescent microscopy. CUDC-101 inhibited HER2, EGFR and HDAC and enhanced in vitro radiosensitivity of both GBM and breast cancer cell lines, with no effect on normal fibroblasts. Retention of γH2AX foci was increased by CUDC-101 alone and in combination with irradiation for 24 h. Treatment with CUDC-101 increased the number of cells in G2 and M phase, with only increase in M phase statistically significant. An increase in mitotic catastrophe was seen in a time-dependent fashion with combination treatment. The results indicate the tumor specific CUDC-101 enhanced radiosensitization in GBM, and suggest that the effect involves inhibition of DNA repair.

Key words:

Glioblastoma multiforme, Radiosensitization, HDAC, Multi-target therapy, HER2, EGFR.

*Corresponding Author:

Anita Tandle, Radiation Oncology Branch, National Cancer Institute, 10 Center Drive Magnuson Clinical Center Room B3-B100, Bethesda MD 20892, USA. Email:

Cite this article as:

Schlaff CD, Arscott WT, Gordon I, Camphausen KA, Tandle A. Human EGFR-2, EGFR and HDAC triple-inhibitor CUDC-101 enhances radiosensitivity of glioblastoma multiforme cells. Biomed Res J. 2015;2(1):105–119.

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