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Poster Display session 2

908 - Romidepsin (FK228) Regulates the Expression of the Immune Checkpoint Ligand PD-L1 and Exerts Synergistic Anti-Tumor Activity with an Anti-PD-1 Antibody in Colon Cancer


29 Sep 2019


Poster Display session 2


Tumour Site

Colon and Rectal Cancer


Hui Li


Annals of Oncology (2019) 30 (suppl_5): v198-v252. 10.1093/annonc/mdz246


H. Li

Author affiliations

  • Department Of Gastrointestinal Cancer Biology, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute & Hospital, 300060 - Tianjin/CN


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Abstract 908


Romidepsin (FK228), a histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi), has anti-tumor effects against several types of solid tumors. Studies have suggested that HDACi could upregulate PD-L1 expression in tumor cells, changing the state of anti-tumor immune responses. However, the influence of enhanced PD-L1 expression in tumor cells induced by romidepsin on anti-tumor immune responses are still under debate. So, the purpose of this study was to explore the anti-tumor effects and influence on immune responses of romidepsin in colon cancer.


The effects of romidepsin on proliferation, cell cycle and apoptosis in the murine colon cancer cell lines CT26 and MC38 were evaluated. PD-L1 expression levels were examined before and after treatment with romidepsin. To analyze the mechanisms through which romidepsin regulates PD-L1 expression, the acetylation of histones H3 and H4 and transcription factor BRD4 was measured. The influence of romidepsin on FOXP3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs), Th1/Th2 balance and IFN-γ+CD8+ T cells was evaluated in a subcutaneous transplanted tumor model and a colitis-associated cancer (CAC) model.


The results indicated that romidepsin inhibited proliferation, induced G0/G1 cell cycle arrest and increased apoptosis in CT26 and MC38 cells. Romidepsin treatment increased PD-L1 expression in CT26 and MC38 cells via increasing the acetylation levels of histones H3 and H4 and regulating the transcription factor BRD4. In subcutaneous transplant tumor mice and CAC mice, romidepsin increased the percentage of FOXP3+ Tregs, decreased the ratio of Th1/Th2 cells and decreased the percentage of IFN-γ+CD8+ T cells in the peripheral blood and the tumor microenvironment. Upon combination with an anti-PD-1 antibody, the anti-tumor effects were enhanced, and the influence on CD4+ and CD8+ T cells was partially reversed.


Although romidepsin had direct anti-tumor effects in murine colon cancer, it increased PD-L1 expression in tumor cells and the percentage of immune-suppressive cells. Combination with anti-PD-1 antibody augmented the anti-tumor effects by reversing the influence of romidepsin on immune cells.

Clinical trial identification

Editorial acknowledgement

Legal entity responsible for the study

The author.


National Natural Science Foundation of China.


The author has declared no conflicts of interest.

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