Histone deacetylase inhibitors in the treatment of muscular dystrophies: Epigenetic drugs for genetic diseases

Silvia Consalvi, Valentina Saccone, Lorenzo Giordani, Giulia Minetti, Chiara Mozzetta, Pier Lorenzo Puri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Histone deacetylases inhibitors (HDACi) include a growing number of drugs that share the ability to inhibit the enzymatic activity of some or all the HDACs. Experimental and preclinical evidence indicates that these epigenetic drugs not only can be effective in the treatment of malignancies, inflammatory diseases and degenerative disorders, but also in the treatment of genetic diseases, such as muscular dystrophies. The ability of HDACi to counter the progression of muscular dystrophies points to HDACs as a crucial link between specific genetic mutations and downstream determinants of disease progression. It also suggests the contribution of epigenetic events to the pathogenesis of muscular dystrophies. Here we describe the experimental evidence supporting the key role of HDACs in the control of the transcriptional networks underlying the potential of dystrophic muscles either to activate compensatory regeneration or to undergo fibroadipogenic degeneration. Studies performed in mouse models of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) indicate that dystrophin deficiency leads to deregulated HDAC activity, which perturbs downstream networks and can be restored directly, by HDAC blockade, or indirectly, by reexpression of dystrophin. This evidence supports the current view that HDACi are emerging candidate drugs for pharmacological interventions in muscular dystrophies, and reveals unexpected common beneficial outcomes of pharmacological treatment or gene therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-465
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular medicine (Cambridge, Mass.)
Volume17
Issue number5-6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Genetics(clinical)

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