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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 371832, 10 pages
Review Article

Physical and Functional HAT/HDAC Interplay Regulates Protein Acetylation Balance

Laboratory of Signal-Dependent Transcription, Department of Translational Pharmacology (DTP), Consorzio Mario Negri Sud, Santa Maria Imbaro, 66030 Chieti, Italy

Received 15 July 2010; Revised 1 October 2010; Accepted 27 October 2010

Academic Editor: Christian Seiser

Copyright © 2011 Alessia Peserico and Cristiano Simone. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The balance between protein acetylation and deacetylation controls several physiological and pathological cellular processes, and the enzymes involved in the maintenance of this equilibrium—acetyltransferases (HATs) and deacetylases (HDACs)—have been widely studied. Presently, the evidences obtained in this field suggest that the dynamic acetylation equilibrium is mostly maintained through the physical and functional interplay between HAT and HDAC activities. This model overcomes the classical vision in which the epigenetic marks of acetylation have only an activating function whereas deacetylation marks have a repressing activity. Given the existence of several players involved in the preservation of this equilibrium, the identification of these complex networks of interacting proteins will likely foster our understanding of how cells regulate intracellular processes and respond to the extracellular environment and will offer the rationale for new therapeutic approaches based on epigenetic drugs in human diseases.