The involvement of the epigenome in complex diseases is becoming increasingly clear and more feasible to study due to new genomic and computational technologies. Moreover, therapies altering the activities of proteins that modify and interpret the epigenome are available to treat cancers and neurological disorders. Many additional uses have been proposed for these drugs based on promising preclinical results, including in arthritis models. Understanding the effects of epigenomic drugs on the skeleton is of interest because of its importance in maintaining overall health and fitness. In this review, we summarize ongoing advancements in how one class of epigenetic modifiers, histone deacetylases (Hdacs), controls normal cartilage development and homeostasis, as well as recent work aimed at understanding the alterations in the expression and activities of these enzymes in osteoarthritis (OA). We also review recent studies utilizing Hdac inhibitors and discuss the potential therapeutic benefits and limitations of these drugs for preventing cartilage destruction in OA.
- Hdac inhibitors
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