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Epigenetic modulation and understanding of HDAC inhibitors in cancer therapy

, Anjana Devi Tangutur, Rajasekhar Reddy Manyam
Published: 16 April 2021

Abstract: The role of genetic and epigenetic factors in tumor initiation and progression is well documented. Histone deacetylases (HDACs), histone methyl transferases (HMTs), and DNA methyl transferases. (DNMTs) are the main proteins that are involved in regulating the chromatin conformation. Among these, histone deacetylases (HDAC) deacetylate the histone and induce gene repression thereby leading to cancer. In contrast, histone acetyl transferases (HATs) that include GCN5, p300/CBP, PCAF, Tip 60 acetylate the histones. HDAC inhibitors are potent drug molecules that can induce acetylation of histones at lysine residues and induce open chromatin conformation at tumor suppressor gene loci and thus resulting in tumor suppression. The key processes regulated by HDAC inhibitors include cell-cycle arrest, chemo-sensitization, apoptosis induction, upregulation of tumor suppressors. Even though FDA approved drugs are confined mainly to haematological malignancies, the research on HDAC inhibitors in glioblastoma multiforme and triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) are providing positive results. Thus, several combinations of HDAC inhibitors along with DNA methyl transferase inhibitors and histone methyl transferase inhibitors are in clinical trials. This review focuses on how HDAC inhibitors regulate the expression of coding and non-coding genes with specific emphasis on their anti-cancer potential.
Keywords: HDAC inhibitors / Cell-cycle arrest / Histone acetylation / lncRNA / miRNA / Clinical trials

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