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Histone Deacetylase: A Target for Antiproliferative and Antiprotozoal Agents

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Histone deacetylase (HDAC) and histone acetyltransferase (HAT) are enzymes that influence transcription by selectively deacetylating or acetylating the e-amino groups of lysines located near the amino termini of core histone proteins. It is well-established that in transcriptionally active chromatin, histones generally are hyperacetylated and, conversely, hypoacetylated histones are coincident with silenced chromatin. Revived interest in these enzymatic pathways and how they modulate eukaryotic transcription has led to the identification of multiple cofactors whose complex interplay with HDAC affects gene expression. Concurrent with these discoveries, screening of natural product sources yielded new small molecules that were subsequently identified as potent inhibitors of HDAC. While predominantly identified using antiproliferative assays, the biological activity of these new HDAC inhibitors also encompasses significant antiprotozoal, antifungal, phytotoxic and antiviral applications. These newly discovered HDAC inhibitors served as lead structures for the development of improved derivatives including related reagents with considerable potential as tools to further elucidate the mechanism of transcriptional regulation.
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Keywords: Antimalarial efficacy; Antiproliferative; Antiprotozoal agents; Bicyclic depsipepide; Deacetylase Inhibitors; HDAC Enzyme; Helminthosporium carbonum; Histone Deacetylase; Histone modifications; Phytochemical assays; Post translational modifications; Pyrrole based TSA; Scintillation proximity assay; Xenograft development

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: 01 February 2001

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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