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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2011, Article ID 143269, 5 pages
Review Article

Targeting HDACs: A Promising Therapy for Alzheimer's Disease

1College of Life Science, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100048, China
2College of Arts and Science, Beijing Union University, Beijing 100191, China
3Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology, Peking University School of Basic Medical Sciences, Beijing 100191, China
4Beijing Key Laboratory of Bioactive Substances and Functional Foods, Beijing Union University, Beijing 100191, China

Received 16 May 2011; Revised 22 July 2011; Accepted 23 July 2011

Academic Editor: Florian Lang

Copyright © 2011 Ke Xu et al. 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.


Epigenetic modifications like DNA methylation and histone acetylation play an important role in a wide range of brain disorders. Histone deacetylases (HDACs) regulate the homeostasis of histone acetylation. Histone deacetylase inhibitors, which initially were used as anticancer drugs, are recently suggested to act as neuroprotectors by enhancing synaptic plasticity and learning and memory in a wide range of neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD). To reveal the physiological roles of HDACs may provide us with a new perspective to understand the mechanism of AD and to develop selective HDAC inhibitors. This paper focuses on the recent research progresses of HDAC proteins and their inhibitors on the roles of the treatment for AD.