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Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2009 Jun;13(3):263-71. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2009.05.007. Epub 2009 Jun 21.

Creating zinc monkey wrenches in the treatment of epigenetic disorders.

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  • 1University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Medicinal Chemistry, 833 South Wood Street, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.


The approval of suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid by the FDA for the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma in October, 2006 sparked a dramatic increase in the development of inhibitors for the class of enzymes known as the histone deacetylases (HDACs). In recent years, a large number of combination therapies involving histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACIs) have been developed for the treatment of a variety of malignancies and neurodegenerative disorders. Promising evidence has been reported for the treatment of pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, and leukemia as well as a number of other previously difficult to treat cancers. Drug combination approaches have also shown promise for the treatment of mood disorders including bipolar disorder and depression. In addition to these drug combination approaches, HDACIs alone have demonstrated effectiveness in the treatment of Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome, Rett syndrome, Friedreich's ataxia, Huntington's disease, multiple sclerosis, anxiety, and schizophrenia. Adverse inflammatory affects observed with traumatic brain injury and arthritis have also been alleviated by treatment with certain HDACIs. Based on the diverse utility and wide range of mechanistic actions observed with this class of drugs, the future development of better drug combination therapies and more selective HDACIs is warranted.

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