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Role of Histone Deacetylase in Cancer - Term Paper Example

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The author of the paper examines the concept which has been given focus that epigenetic changes especially the methylation of DNA and posttranslational histone modifications namely, acetylation, methylation, hypermethylation, and phosphorylation are responsible for causing cancer.  …
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Role of Histone Deacetylase in Cancer
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Download file to see previous pages Chromatin (condensed heterochromatin and extended euchromatin) is a composite amalgamation of DNA, RNA, and proteins that formulate chromosomes. It provides strength to the DNA (Dame, 2005) Amongst its three components, DNA and histone proteins (alkaline in nature and characteristic feature of the eukaryotic nucleus) form nuclear matter and are responsible for packing DNA in small structural units called nucleosomes, comportment to fit them inside the cell. Chromatin directs all cellular tasks including gene expression, DNA replication, cell division, and differentiation. Histones play an imperative role in chromosome vitality, stability and gene expression (Alberts, 2001).
Histones are of various types but the most prominent ones reported are H1, H2A, H2B, H3, and H4. Except H1 rest form chromatin sub-units called nucleosomes. Each nucleosome is an octamer with 2 units each of H2A, H2B, H3, H4. Each nucleosome can accommodate 165 base pairs of DNA strands (2.85 turns of DNA) (Kornberg, 1974). A linker DNA with H1 histone links two nucleosomes and hence responsible for super-coiling (Alberts, 2001).

Histone proteins present in chromatin undergoes chemical alterations. Acetylation of lysine residues of H3 and H4 is a resultant of equilibrium between histone acetyltransferases (HAT) and histone deacetylases (HDAC). Levels of these modifications are imperative for gene regulation, expression, and chromatin remodeling (Goll, Bestor, 2002). It is observed that acetylated lysine present in the tails of histone is related to euchromatin state while its deacetylation is related to heterochromatin state, responsible for transcriptional gene silencing (Johnstone, 2002; Iizuka and Smith, 2003).

X-ray diffraction pattern discloses the conservation of histone proteins in eukaryotes (Lunger 1997) with variation in H1 amino acids (Alberts, 2001). Deacetylation of histones causes greater ionic interactions between positive histones and negative DNA, forming compressed chromatin structure, suppressing gene transcription.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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