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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2010 Oct-Dec;1799(10-12):810-28. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagrm.2010.09.005. Epub 2010 Oct 1.

Small molecule modulators of histone acetylation and methylation: a disease perspective.

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Transcription and Disease Laboratory, Molecular Biology and Genetics Unit, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Jakkur (P.O.), Bangalore 560 064, India.


Chromatin modifications have gained immense significance in the past few decades as key regulators of gene expression. The enzymes responsible for these modifications along with the other non-histone proteins, remodeling factors and small RNAs modulate the chromatin dynamicity, which in turn directs the chromatin function. A concerted action of different modifying enzymes catalyzes these modifications, which are read by effector modules and converted to functional outcomes by various protein complexes. Several small molecules in the physiological system such as acetyl CoA, NAD(+), and ATP are actively involved in regulating these functional outcomes. Recent understanding in the field of epigenetics indicate the possibility of the existence of a network, 'the epigenetic language' involving cross talk among different modifications that could regulate cellular processes like transcription, replication and repair. Hence, these modifications are essential for the cellular homeostasis, and any alteration in this balance leads to a pathophysiological condition or disease manifestation. Therefore, it is becoming more evident that modulators of these modifying enzymes could be an attractive therapeutic strategy, popularly referred to as 'Epigenetic therapy.' Although this field is currently monopolized by DNA methylation and histone deacetylase inhibitors, this review highlights the modulators of the other modifications namely histone acetylation, lysine methylation and arginine methylation and argues in favor of their therapeutic potential.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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