Enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) mediates the trimethylation of histone 3 lysine 27 (H3K27) to promote gene silencing. Inhibition of EZH2 is a viable strategy for cancer treatment; however, only a small subset of hematological malignancies are sensitive to small-molecule EZH2 inhibitors. EZH2 inhibitors cause H3K27 acetylation in most solid tumors, leading to drug resistance. Bromodomain-containing protein 4 (BRD4) inhibitors were reported to enhance the sensitivity of solid tumors to EZH2 inhibitors. Thus, we designed and evaluated a series of dual EZH2-BRD4 inhibitors. ZLD-2, the most promising compound, exhibited potent inhibitory activity against EZH2 and BRD4. Compared to the EZH2 inhibitor GSK126, ZLD-2 displayed potent antiproliferation activity against breast, lung, bladder, and pancreatic cancer cells. In vivo, ZLD-2 exhibited antitumor activity in a BxPC-3 mouse xenograft model, whereas GSK126 promoted tumor growth. Thus, ZLD-2 may be a lead compound for treating solid tumors.
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