Diverse roles of HDAC6 in viral infection: Implications for antiviral therapy

Pharmacol Ther. 2016 Aug;164:120-5. doi: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2016.04.005. Epub 2016 Apr 23.


Histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6), a cytoplasmic enzyme important for many biological processes, has recently emerged as a critical regulator of viral infection. HDAC6 exerts this function either directly, via orchestrating various stages of the viral life cycle, or indirectly via modulating cytokine production by host cells. The broad influence of HDAC6 on viral pathogenesis suggests that this protein may represent an antiviral target. However, the feasibility of targeting HDAC6 and the optimal strategy by which this could be accomplished cannot simply be concluded from individual studies. The primary challenge in developing HDAC6-targeted therapies is to understand how its antiviral effect can be selectively harnessed. As a springboard for future investigations, in this review we recapitulate recent findings on the diverse roles of HDAC6 in viral infection and discuss its alluring potential as a novel antiviral target.

Keywords: Antiviral therapy; HDAC6; Viral infection; Viral pathogenesis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Histone Deacetylases / immunology
  • Histone Deacetylases / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Interferons / metabolism
  • Viruses / drug effects*
  • Viruses / metabolism*


  • Interferons
  • Histone Deacetylases