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The Structure and Function of Histone Deacetylases: The Target for Anti-cancer Therapy

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Abstract:

Histone deacetylases (HDACs) and Histone acetyltransferases (HATs) are two kinds of enzymes, which can, by reversible deacetylation and acetylation, modify the structure and function of chromatin histones that are involved in the regulation of gene expression, as well as many non-histone proteins that regulate cell function in eukaryotes. Compared with HATs, HDACs have attracted more and more attentions for two main reasons over the past few years. First, the relationship of HDACs and cancer, as well as several other diseases has been confirmed. Second, many HDAC inhibitors (HDACi) have entered pre-clinical or clinical research as anti-cancer agents and shown satisfying effects. HDACs, including 18 members at least, are subdivided into 4 classes that generally have high structure similarity and related substrate specificity within classes, but have divergent sequence and different functions even between within classes. This review will introduce the relationship between HDACs and cancer along with the enzymes' structure and main function.

Keywords: Anti-cancer agents; Function; HDAC inhibitors; Histone deacetylases; Structure

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/092986708786242796

Affiliations: Department of Medicinal Chemistry, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Shandong University, 44 West Culture Road, 250012 Ji' nan, Shandong, China.

Publication date: November 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • 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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