HDAC6: a key regulator of cytoskeleton, cell migration and cell-cell interactions

Trends Cell Biol. 2008 Jun;18(6):291-7. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2008.04.003. Epub 2008 May 9.


Histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) is a cytoplasmic enzyme that regulates many important biological processes, including cell migration, immune synapse formation, viral infection, and the degradation of misfolded proteins. HDAC6 deacetylates tubulin, Hsp90 and cortactin, and forms complexes with other partner proteins. Although HDAC6 enzymatic activity seems to be required for the regulation of cell morphology, the role of HDAC6 in lymphocyte chemotaxis is independent of its tubulin deacetylase activity. The diverse functions of HDAC6 suggest that it is a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of a range of diseases. This review examines the biological actions of HDAC6, focusing on its deacetylase activity and its potential scaffold functions in the regulation of cell migration and other key biological processes in which the cytoskeleton plays an important role.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Communication*
  • Cell Movement*
  • Cortactin / metabolism
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins / metabolism
  • Histone Deacetylase 6
  • Histone Deacetylases / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immune System
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Protein Denaturation
  • Protein Folding
  • Tubulin / chemistry


  • Cortactin
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Tubulin
  • HDAC6 protein, human
  • Histone Deacetylase 6
  • Histone Deacetylases