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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 690848, 15 pages
Review Article

Regulating the Regulators: The Post-Translational Code of Class I HDAC1 and HDAC2

Department of Experimental Oncology, European Institute of Oncology, IFOM-IEO Campus, Via Adamello 16, 20139 Milan, Italy

Received 27 July 2010; Accepted 15 October 2010

Academic Editor: Minoru Yoshida

Copyright © 2011 Chiara V. Segré and Susanna Chiocca. 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.


Class I histone deacetylases (HDACs) are cellular enzymes expressed in many tissues and play crucial roles in differentiation, proliferation, and cancer. HDAC1 and HDAC2 in particular are highly homologous proteins that show redundant or specific roles in different cell types or in response to different stimuli and signaling pathways. The molecular details of this dual regulation are largely unknown. HDAC1 and HDAC2 are not only protein modifiers, but are in turn regulated by post-translational modifications (PTMs): phosphorylation, acetylation, ubiquitination, SUMOylation, nitrosylation, and carbonylation. Some of these PTMs occur and crosstalk specifically on HDAC1 or HDAC2, creating a rational “code” for a differential, context-related regulation. The global comprehension of this PTM code is central for dissecting the role of single HDAC1 and HDAC2 in physiology and pathology.