Histone deacetylases--an important class of cellular regulators with a variety of functions

Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2007 Jun;75(3):487-97. doi: 10.1007/s00253-007-0911-2. Epub 2007 Mar 22.


The elucidation of mechanisms of chromatin remodeling, particular transcriptional activation, and repression by histone acetylation and deacetylation has shed light on the role of histone deacetylases (HDAC) as a new kind of therapeutic target for human cancer treatment. HDACs, in general, act as components of large corepressor complexes that prevent the transcription of several tumor suppression genes. In addition, they appear to be also involved in the deacetylation of nonhistone proteins. This paper reviews the most recent insights into the diverse biological roles of HDACs as well as the evolution of this important protein family.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / chemistry
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Catalysis
  • Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors
  • Histone Deacetylases / chemistry*
  • Histone Deacetylases / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Structure
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors
  • Histone Deacetylases