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J Cell Biochem. 2004 Sep 1;93(1):57-67.

Regulation of histone deacetylase activities.

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H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Florida 33612, USA.


Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are enzymes that catalyze the removal of acetyl groups from lysine residues in both histone and non-histone proteins. They play a key role in the regulation of gene transcription and many other biological processes involving chromatin. Significantly, recent studies suggest that HDACs are critically involved in cell-cycle regulation, cell proliferation, differentiation, and in the development of human cancer. HDAC inhibitors currently are being exploited as potential anti-cancer agents. As expected for vital regulators of many cellular processes, the activities of HDACs are tightly controlled and precisely regulated by multiple mechanisms. The activities of most if not all HDACs are regulated by protein-protein interactions. In addition, many HDACs are regulated by post-translational modifications as well as by subcellular localization. Less studied, but perhaps equally important, is the regulation of some HDACs by control of expression, availability of cofactors, and by proteolytic processing. A complete understanding of how HDACs are regulated will contribute not only to our overall knowledge of chromatin structure and gene control, but will offer tremendous insight into approaches for developing therapeutic HDAC inhibitors with improved specificity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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