HDACi--targets beyond chromatin

Cancer Lett. 2009 Aug 8;280(2):160-7. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2009.02.028. Epub 2009 Apr 1.


Histone deacetylases (HDACs) play an important role in gene regulation. Inhibitors of HDACs (HDACi) are novel anti-cancer drugs, which induce histone (hyper-) acetylation and counteract aberrant gene repression. On the other hand, HDACi treatment can also result in decreased gene expression, and targeting HDACs affects more than chromatin. Recently, HDACi were shown to evoke non-histone protein acetylation, which can alter signaling networks relevant for tumorgenesis. Furthermore, HDACi can promote the degradation of (proto-) oncoproteins. Here, we summarize these findings and discuss how these substances could be beneficial for the treatment and prevention of human ailments, such as cancer and unbalanced immune functions.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Chromatin / metabolism*
  • Cytokines / physiology
  • Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors
  • Histone Deacetylases / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • NF-kappa B / physiology
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex / physiology
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism
  • STAT Transcription Factors / physiology
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Ubiquitin / physiology


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Chromatin
  • Cytokines
  • Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors
  • NF-kappa B
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • STAT Transcription Factors
  • Ubiquitin
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex
  • Histone Deacetylases