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      A scientific review: mechanisms of valproate-mediated teratogenesis

       

      Bioscience Horizons

      Oxford University Press (OUP)

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          Histone acetylation in chromatin structure and transcription.

          'The amino termini of histones extend from the nucleosomal core and are modified by acetyltransferases and deacetylases during the cell cycle. These acetylation patterns may direct histone assembly and help regulate the unfolding and activity of genes.
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            ROS stress in cancer cells and therapeutic implications.

            Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are constantly generated and eliminated in the biological system, and play important roles in a variety of normal biochemical functions and abnormal pathological processes. Growing evidence suggests that cancer cells exhibit increased intrinsic ROS stress, due in part to oncogenic stimulation, increased metabolic activity, and mitochondrial malfunction. Since the mitochondrial respiratory chain (electron transport complexes) is a major source of ROS generation in the cells, the vulnerability of the mitochondrial DNA to ROS-mediated damage appears to be a mechanism to amplify ROS stress in cancer cells. The escalated ROS generation in cancer cells serves as an endogenous source of DNA-damaging agents that promote genetic instability and development of drug resistance. Malfunction of mitochondria also alters cellular apoptotic response to anticancer agents. Despite the negative impacts of increased ROS in cancer cells, it is possible to exploit this biochemical feature and develop novel therapeutic strategies to preferentially kill cancer cells through ROS-mediated mechanisms. This article reviews ROS stress in cancer cells, its underlying mechanisms and relationship with mitochondrial malfunction and alteration in drug sensitivity, and suggests new therapeutic strategies that take advantage of increased ROS in cancer cells to enhance therapeutic activity and selectivity.
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              Roles of histone acetyltransferases and deacetylases in gene regulation.

              Acetylation of internal lysine residues of core histone N-terminal domains has been found correlatively associated with transcriptional activation in eukaryotes for more than three decades. Recent discoveries showing that several transcriptional regulators possess intrinsic histone acetyltransferase (HAT) and deacetylase (HDAC) activities strongly suggest that histone acetylation and deacetylation each plays a causative role in regulating transcription. Intriguingly, several HATs have been shown an ability to acetylate nonhistone protein substrates (e.g., transcription factors) in vitro as well, suggesting the possibility that internal lysine acetylation of multiple proteins exists as a rapid and reversible regulatory mechanism much like protein phosphorylation. This article reviews recent developments in histone acetylation and transcriptional regulation. We also discuss several important, yet unanswered, questions.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Bioscience Horizons
                Bioscience Horizons
                Oxford University Press (OUP)
                1754-7431
                February 10 2013
                May 15 2013
                : 6
                : 0
                : hzt003
                10.1093/biohorizons/hzt003
                © 2013

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