Class i HDACs Affect DNA Replication, Repair, and Chromatin Structure: Implications for Cancer Therapy

Kristy R. Stengel, Scott W. Hiebert

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Significance: The contribution of epigenetic alterations to cancer development and progression is becoming increasingly clear, prompting the development of epigenetic therapies. Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDIs) represent one of the first classes of such therapy. Two HDIs, Vorinostat and Romidepsin, are broad-spectrum inhibitors that target multiple histone deacetylases (HDACs) and are FDA approved for the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. However, the mechanism of action and the basis for the cancer-selective effects of these inhibitors are still unclear. Recent Advances: While the anti-tumor effects of HDIs have traditionally been attributed to their ability to modify gene expression after the accumulation of histone acetylation, recent studies have identified the effects of HDACs on DNA replication, DNA repair, and genome stability. In addition, the HDIs available in the clinic target multiple HDACs, making it difficult to assign either their anti-tumor effects or their associated toxicities to the inhibition of a single protein. However, recent studies in mouse models provide insights into the tissue-specific functions of individual HDACs and their involvement in mediating the effects of HDI therapy. Critical Issues: Here, we describe how altered replication contributes to the efficacy of HDAC-targeted therapies as well as discuss what knowledge mouse models have provided to our understanding of the specific functions of class I HDACs, their potential involvement in tumorigenesis, and how their disruption may contribute to toxicities associated with HDI treatment. Future Directions: Impairment of DNA replication by HDIs has important therapeutic implications. Future studies should assess how best to exploit these findings for therapeutic gain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-65
Number of pages15
JournalAntioxidants and Redox Signaling
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Class i HDACs Affect DNA Replication, Repair, and Chromatin Structure: Implications for Cancer Therapy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this