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Histone deacetylase inhibition as an anticancer telomerase-targeting strategy

Rahman, Ruman; Grundy, Richard


Professor of Paediatric Neuro-Oncology



Aberrant epigenetic regulation of gene expression contributes to tumor initiation and progression. Studies from a plethora of hematologic and solid tumors support the use of histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) as potent anticancer agents. The mechanism(s) of HDACi-induced cancer growth inhibition and cell death are complex and incompletely elucidated. Here, we discuss erroneous epigenetic regulation of hTERT transcription in cancer cells and propose that alleviation of an improper acetylation–deacetylation balance at the hTERT promoter, is one mode by which HDACi induces anticancer effects. We conclude with some pertinent questions and future perspectives arising from the recent impetus in HDACi preclinical and early clinical studies, with particular attention to the cancer stem cell therapeutic paradigm and its relevance to tumor resistance.


Rahman, R., & Grundy, R. (2011). Histone deacetylase inhibition as an anticancer telomerase-targeting strategy. International Journal of Cancer, 129(12), 2765-2774. doi:10.1002/ijc.26241

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 30, 2011
Online Publication Date Aug 8, 2011
Publication Date Dec 15, 2011
Deposit Date Dec 5, 2018
Journal International Journal of Cancer
Print ISSN 0020-7136
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 129
Issue 12
Pages 2765-2774
Keywords Cancer Research; Oncology
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