Methods for the analysis of histone H3 and H4 acetylation in blood

Lin Rigby, Andrea Muscat, David Ashley, Elizabeth Algar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


LBH589 is one of the many histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) that are currently in clinical trial. Despite their widespread use, there is little literature available describing the typical levels of histone acetylation in untreated peripheral blood, the treatment and storage of samples to retain optimal measurement of histone acetylation nor methods by which histone acetylation analysis may be monitored and measured during the course of a patient's treatment. In this study, we have used cord or peripheral blood as a source of human leukocytes, performed a comparative analysis of sample processing methods and developed a flow cytometric method suitable for monitoring histone acetylation in isolated lymphocytes and liquid tumors. Western blotting and immunohistochemistry techniques have also been addressed. We have tested these methods on blood samples collected from four patients treated with LBH589 as part of an Australian Children's Cancer Clinical Trial (CLBH589AAU03T) and show comparable results when comparing in vitro and in vivo data. This paper does not seek to correlate histone acetylation levels in peripheral blood with clinical outcome but describes methods of analysis that will be of interest to clinicians and scientists monitoring the effects of HDACi on histone acetylation in blood samples in clinical trials or in related research studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)875-882
Number of pages8
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Histone acetylation
  • Histone deacetylase inhibitors
  • LBH589
  • Paediatrics
  • Panobinostat

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