Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a multistep disorder resulting from genetic and epigenetic genome changes. It is the third most common malignancy in developed nations accounting for roughly 600,000 deaths annually. Persistent gut inflammation, as observed in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), is a key risk factor for CRC development. From an epigenetic viewpoint, the pharmacological inhibition of HDACs using HDAC inhibitors such as SAHA has emerged as a suitable anticancer strategy in the recent past. However, the clinical success of these strategies is limited and has risk factors associated with their uses. Thus, considering the critical involvement of epigenetic regulation of key molecular mechanisms in carcinogenesis as well as HDAC inhibitory and anti-tumorigenic properties of Selenium (Se), we aimed to explore the potentially safer and enhanced chemotherapeutic potential of a Se derivative of SAHA namely SelSA-1, in an experimental model of colitis-associated experimental cancer (CAC) model and mechanism involved therein. The in vitro study indicated improved efficiency, specificity, and better safety margin in terms of lower IC50 value of SelSA-1 than SAHA in both NIH3T3 (9.44 and 10.87 µM) and HCT 115 (5.70 and 7.49 µM) cell lines as well on primary colonocytes (5.61 and 6.30 µM) respectively. In an in vivo experimental model, SelSA-1 efficiently demonstrated amelioration of the multiple plaque lesions (MPLs), tumor burden/incidence, and modulation of various histological and morphological parameters. Further, redox-mediated alterations in apoptotic mediators suggested induction of cancer cell apoptosis by SelSA-1. These findings indicate the enhanced chemotherapeutic and pro-resolution effects of SelSA-1 in part mediated through redox modulation of multiple epigenetic and apoptotic pathways.
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