Pharmacological inhibition of histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) is an effective therapeutic strategy for cancer and immunological diseases. Most of the previously reported HDAC6 inhibitors have a hydroxamate group as a zinc binding group (ZBG), which coordinates to the catalytic zinc ion of HDAC6. The hydroxamate group is liable to metabolically generate mutagenetic hydroxylamine; therefore, non-hydroxamate HDAC6 inhibitors would be advantageous. In this study, to identify novel non-hydroxamate HDAC6-selective inhibitors, screening of a chemical library and the subsequent structural optimization were performed, which led to the identification of HDAC6-selective inhibitors with 3,3,3-trifluorolactic amide (TFLAM) as a novel ZBG. The identified inhibitor showed potent and selective HDAC6-inhibitory activity in cells and induced regulatory T (Treg) cell differentiation.
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