Histone deacetylase 8 (HDAC8) is a class I histone deacetylase implicated as a therapeutic target in various diseases, including cancer, X-linked intellectual disability, and parasitic infections. It is a structurally well-characterized enzyme that also deacetylates nonhistone proteins. In cancer, HDAC8 is a major 'epigenetic player' that is linked to deregulated expression or interaction with transcription factors critical to tumorigenesis. In the parasite Schistosoma mansoni and in viral infections, HDAC8 is a novel target to subdue infection. The current challenge remains in the development of potent selective inhibitors that would specifically target HDAC8 with fewer adverse effects compared with pan-HDAC inhibitors. Here, we review HDAC8 as a drug target and discuss inhibitors with respect to their structural features and therapeutic interventions.
Keywords: Cornelia de Lange syndrome; HDAC8; X-ray crystallography; cancer; histone deacetylases; schistosoma.
Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.