Histone deacetylase in carcinogenesis and its inhibitors as anti-cancer agents

Dong Hoon Kim, Minjung Kim, Ho Jeong Kwon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

118 Citations (Scopus)


The acetylation state of histone is reversibly regulated by histone acetyltransferase (HAT) and deacetylase (HDAC). An imbalance of this reaction leads to an aberrant behavior of the cells in morphology, cell cycle, differentiation, and carcinogenesis. Recently, these key enzymes in the gene expression were cloned. They revealed a broad use of this modification, not only in histone, but also other proteins that involved transcription, nuclear transport, and cytoskeleton. These results suggest that HAT/HDAC takes charge of multiple-functions in the cell, not just the gene expression. HDAC is especially known to play an important role in carcinogenesis. The enzyme has been considered a target molecule for cancer therapy. The inhibition of HDAC activity by a specific inhibitor induces growth arrest, differentiation, and apoptosis of transformed or several cancer cells. Some of these inhibitors are in a clinical trial at phase I or phase II. The discovery and development of specific HDAC inhibitors are helpful for cancer therapy, and decipher the molecular mode of action for HDAC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-119
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of biochemistry and molecular biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Jan 31

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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