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From Discovery to the Coming Generation of Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors

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Trichostatin A (TSA) is a Streptomyces metabolite that causes differentiation of murine erythroleukemia cells as well as specific inhibition of the cell cycle of some lower eukaryotes and mammalian cells. The targeted molecule of TSA has been shown by genetic and biochemical analyses to be histone deacetylases (HDACs). Histone acetylation is a key modification to control transcription, and HDACs are profoundly involved in pathogenesis of cancer through removing acetyl groups from histones and other transcriptional regulators. Trapoxin (TPX) and FK228 (also known as FR901228 and depsipeptide because FK228 = FR901228 = depsipeptide), structurally unrelated microbial metabolites, were also shown to inhibit HDACs. These HDAC inhibitors cause cell cycle arrest, differentiation and / or apoptosis of many tumors, suggesting their usefulness for chemotherapy and differentiation therapy. In addition, HDAC inhibitors play important roles in identifying the specific function of the enzymes. Indeed, we identified tubulin as one of the substrates of HDAC6 by means of differential sensitivity to HDAC inhibitors. Since recent studies have revealed that HDACs are structurally and functionally diverse, it should be important to develop inhibitors specific to individual enzymes as more promising agents for cancer therapy. We have synthesized novel TSA / TPX hybrids, which will serve as a basis for developing enzyme-specific HDAC inhibitors.
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Keywords: acetylation; anticancer; chap; chromatin; transcription; trapoxin; trichostatin

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: Chemical Genetics Laboratory, RIKEN, Hirosawa 2-1, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan.

Publication date: 2003-11-01

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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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