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Sci. STKE, 9 August 2005
Vol. 2005, Issue 296, p. re11
[DOI: 10.1126/stke.2962005re11]


Histone Deacetylases as Transcriptional Activators? Role Reversal in Inducible Gene Regulation

Inna Nusinzon and Curt M. Horvath*

Department of Medicine and Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Cell Biology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA, and Department of Medicine, Evanston Northwestern Healthcare, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.

Abstract: Histone deacetylation enzymes have often been associated with the suppression of eukaryotic gene transcription. In contrast, recent studies of inducible gene regulation indicate that protein deacetylation can also be required as a transcriptional activation signal. The concept of protein deacetylation as a requirement for transcription activation seems to contradict earlier conclusions about the function of deacetylation in gene suppression. However, in the context of a more global interpretation, these opposing effects of deacetylation imply its dynamic role in the overall control of gene expression. The exact requirement for deacetylation differs among promoters, depending on their specific architecture and regulation scenario.

*Corresponding author. E-mail: horvath{at}

Citation: I. Nusinzon, C. M. Horvath, Histone Deacetylases as Transcriptional Activators? Role Reversal in Inducible Gene Regulation. Sci. STKE 2005, re11 (2005).

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