A Comparative Study of Target Engagement Assays for HDAC1 Inhibitor Profiling.


Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are epigenetic modulators linked to diseases including cancer and neurodegeneration. Given their therapeutic potential, highly sensitive biochemical and cell-based profiling technologies have been developed to discover small-molecule HDAC inhibitors. Ultimately, the therapeutic action of these inhibitors is dependent on a physical engagement with their intended targets in cellular and tissue environments. Confirming target engagement in the cellular environment is particularly relevant for HDACs since they function as part of cell type-specific multiprotein complexes. Here we implemented two recently developed high-throughput target engagement technologies, NanoBRET and SplitLuc CETSA, to profile 349 compounds in the Epigenetic-Focused collection for HDAC1 binding. We found that the two HDAC1 target engagement assays correlated well with each other and with orthogonal activity-based assays, in particular those carried out in cellular environments rather than with isolated HDAC proteins. The assays detected a majority of the previously described HDAC1 inhibitors in the collection and, importantly, triaged HDAC inhibitors known to target other HDACs.


Asawa, Rosita R; Zakharov, Alexey; Niehoff, Taylor; Chitsaz, Ata; Jadhav, Ajit; Henderson, Mark; Simeonov, Anton; Martinez, Natalia;

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