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Clin Transl Oncol. 2008 Jul;10(7):395-8.

Histone deacetylase inhibitors: mechanism of action and therapeutic use in cancer.

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Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Madrid, Spain.


Histone deacetylases (HDACs) remove the acetyl groups of lysine residues of histone tails leading to chromatin compaction and transcriptional repression. In addition, HDACs can also influence transcription-independent events such as mitosis or deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) repair and deacetylate nonhistone proteins involved in cell proliferation and death, altering their function. Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) constitute a promising treatment for cancer therapy due to their low toxicity. HDACi have been shown to induce differentiation, cell-cycle arrest, and apoptosis and to inhibit migration, invasion, and angiogenesis in many cancer cell lines. In addition, these compounds inhibit tumor growth in animal models and show antitumor activity in patients. HDACi alone and in combination with a variety of anticancer drugs are being tested in clinical trials, showing significant anticancer activity both in hematological and solid tumors. SAHA (vorinostat, Zolinza) was the first HDACi approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to enter the clinical oncology market for treating cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) and is being tested for other malignancies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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