Trichostatin A (TSA) is a Streptomyces metabolite that causes differentiation of murine erythroleukemia cells as well as specific inhibition of the cell cycle of some lower eukaryotes and mammalian cells. The targeted molecule of TSA has been shown by genetic and biochemical analyses to be histone deacetylases (HDACs). Histone acetylation is a key modification to control transcription, and HDACs are profoundly involved in pathogenesis of cancer through removing acetyl groups from histones and other transcriptional regulators. Trapoxin (TPX) and FK228 (also known as FR901228 and depsipeptide because FK228 = FR901228 = depsipeptide), structurally unrelated microbial metabolites, were also shown to inhibit HDACs. These HDAC inhibitors cause cell cycle arrest, differentiation and / or apoptosis of many tumors, suggesting their usefulness for chemotherapy and differentiation therapy. In addition, HDAC inhibitors play important roles in identifying the specific function of the enzymes. Indeed, we identified tubulin as one of the substrates of HDAC6 by means of differential sensitivity to HDAC inhibitors. Since recent studies have revealed that HDACs are structurally and functionally diverse, it should be important to develop inhibitors specific to individual enzymes as more promising agents for cancer therapy. We have synthesized novel TSA / TPX hybrids, which will serve as a basis for developing enzyme-specific HDAC inhibitors.
Keywords: acetylation, anticancer, chap, chromatin, transcription, trapoxin, trichostatin
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