Preclinical studies on histone deacetylase inhibitors as therapeutic reagents for endometrial and ovarian cancers

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Histone deacetylases (HDACs) remove acetyl groups from lysine residues of histones and the deacetylation allows for tighter electrostatic interactions between DNA and histones, leading to a more compact chromatin conformation with limited access for transactivators and the suppression of transcription. HDAC mRNA and protein overexpression was observed in endometrial and ovarian cancers. Numerous in vitro studies have shown that HDAC inhibitors, through their actions on histone and nonhistone proteins, are able to reactivate the tumor suppressor genes, inhibit cell cycle progression and induce cell apoptosis in endometrial and ovarian cancer cell cultures. Results from mouse xenograft models also demonstrated the potency of HDAC inhibitors as anticancer reagents when used as single agent or in combination with classical chemotherapy drugs.

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