Sodium butyrate at a concentration of 5mM causes significant hyperacetylation of the core histones in the human breast cancer cell line MCF-7. Histone hyperacetylation was achieved in rapidly-growing cells at 40% confluency after 24 hours in 5mM sodium butyrate. More nearly confluent cells did not reach as high a level of histone hyperacetylation. Upon assaying the estrogen receptors, both cytosolic and KCl-extractable nuclear, we found that butyrate treatment had lowered the estrogen receptor levels in both compartments. To our knowledge this is the first report of an effect of sodium butyrate on estrogen receptor levels.