Author(s): Lehrmann H, Pritchard LL, HarelBellan A
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Abstract Histone acetylation and deacetylation are chromatin-modifying processes that have fundamental importance for transcriptional regulation. Transcriptionally active chromatin regions show a high degree of histone acetylation, whereas deacetylation events are generally linked to transcriptional silencing. Many of the acetylating and deacetylating enzymes were originally identified as transcriptional coactivators or repressors. Their histone-modifying enzymatic activity was discovered more recently, opening up a whole new area of research. Histone acetyltransferases such as CREB-binding protein (CBP) and PCAF are involved in processes as diverse as promoting cell cycle progression and regulating differentiation. A controlled balance between histone acetylation and deacetylation seems to be essential for normal cell growth. Both histone acetyltransferases and deacetylases are involved in the development of diseases, including neurodegenerative disorders and cancer. Treatments that target these enzymes are already under clinical investigation.
This article was published in Adv Cancer Res
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