The treatment of uveal melanoma (UM) metastases or adjuvant treatment may imply immunological approaches or chemotherapy. It is to date unknown how epigenetic modifiers affect the expression of immunologically relevant targets, such as the HLA Class I antigens, in UM. We investigated the expression of HDACs and the histone methyl transferase EZH2 in a set of 64 UMs, using an Illumina HT12V4 array, and determined whether a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor and EZH2 inhibitor modified the expression of HLA Class I on three UM cell lines. Several HDACs (HDAC1, HDAC3, HDAC4, and HDAC8) showed an increased expression in high-risk UM, and were correlated with an increased HLA expression. HDAC11 had the opposite expression pattern. While in vitro tests showed that Tazemetostat did not influence cell growth, Quisinostat decreased cell survival. In the three tested cell lines, Quisinostat increased HLA Class I expression at the protein and mRNA level, while Tazemetostat did not have an effect on the cell surface HLA Class I levels. Combination therapy mostly followed the Quisinostat results. Our findings indicate that epigenetic drugs (in this case an HDAC inhibitor) may influence the expression of immunologically relevant cell surface molecules in UM, demonstrating that these drugs potentially influence immunotherapy.

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Souri, Z. (Zahra), Jochemsen, A., Versluis, M., Wierenga, A.P.A. (Annemijn P. A.), Nemati, F. (Fariba), van der Velden, P., … Jager, M. (2020). HDAC inhibition increases HLA class I expression in uveal melanoma. Cancers, 12(12), 1–14. doi:10.3390/cancers12123690