Potential of chromatin modifying compounds for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease

Tomas Karagiannis, Katherine Ververis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Alzheimer's disease is a very common progressive neurodegenerative disorder affecting the learning and memory centers in the brain. The hallmarks of disease are the accumulation of β-amyloid neuritic plaques and neurofibrillary tangles formed by abnormally phosphorylated tau protein. Alzheimer's disease is currently incurable and there is an intense interest in the development of new potential therapies. Chromatin modifying compounds such as sirtuin modulators and histone deacetylase inhibitors have been evaluated in models of Alzheimer's disease with some promising results. For example, the natural antioxidant and sirtuin 1 activator resveratrol has been shown to have beneficial effects in animal models of disease. Similarly, numerous histone deacetylase inhibitors including Trichostatin A, suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid, valproic acid and phenylbutyrate reduction have shown promising results in models of Alzheimer's disease. These beneficial effects include a reduction of β-amyloid production and stabilization of tau protein. In this review we provide an overview of the histone deacetylase enzymes, with a focus on enzymes that have been identified to have an important role in the pathobiology of Alzheimer's disease. Further, we discuss the potential for pharmacological intervention with chromatin modifying compounds that modulate histone deacetylase enzymes.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberPMC3417541
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalPathobiology of Aging & Age-related Diseases
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • histone acetylation
  • histone deacetylase inhibitor
  • Trichostatin A
  • sirtuins
  • resveratrol

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