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Relationship: 1709


A descriptive phrase which clearly defines the two KEs being considered and the sequential relationship between them (i.e., which is upstream, and which is downstream). More help

Histone deacetylase inhibition leads to Histone acetylation, increase

Upstream event
The causing Key Event (KE) in a Key Event Relationship (KER). More help
Downstream event
The responding Key Event (KE) in a Key Event Relationship (KER). More help

Key Event Relationship Overview

The utility of AOPs for regulatory application is defined, to a large extent, by the confidence and precision with which they facilitate extrapolation of data measured at low levels of biological organisation to predicted outcomes at higher levels of organisation and the extent to which they can link biological effect measurements to their specific causes.Within the AOP framework, the predictive relationships that facilitate extrapolation are represented by the KERs. Consequently, the overall WoE for an AOP is a reflection in part, of the level of confidence in the underlying series of KERs it encompasses. Therefore, describing the KERs in an AOP involves assembling and organising the types of information and evidence that defines the scientific basis for inferring the probable change in, or state of, a downstream KE from the known or measured state of an upstream KE. More help

AOPs Referencing Relationship

AOP Name Adjacency Weight of Evidence Quantitative Understanding Point of Contact Author Status OECD Status
Histone deacetylase inhibition leading to testicular atrophy adjacent High Moderate Shihori Tanabe (send email) Open for citation & comment WPHA/WNT Endorsed
Histone deacetylase inhibition leads to neural tube defects adjacent Not Specified Not Specified Marvin Martens (send email) Under Development: Contributions and Comments Welcome

Taxonomic Applicability

Latin or common names of a species or broader taxonomic grouping (e.g., class, order, family) that help to define the biological applicability domain of the KER.In general, this will be dictated by the more restrictive of the two KEs being linked together by the KER.  More help
Term Scientific Term Evidence Link
Homo sapiens Homo sapiens High NCBI
Rattus norvegicus Rattus norvegicus High NCBI
Mus musculus Mus musculus High NCBI
Oryctolagus cuniculus Oryctolagus cuniculus Moderate NCBI
Brassica napus Brassica napus Moderate NCBI

Sex Applicability

An indication of the the relevant sex for this KER. More help
Sex Evidence
Unspecific High

Life Stage Applicability

An indication of the the relevant life stage(s) for this KER.  More help
Term Evidence
All life stages Moderate

Key Event Relationship Description

Provides a concise overview of the information given below as well as addressing details that aren’t inherent in the description of the KEs themselves. More help

The HDAC inhibitors (HDIs) inhibit deacetylation of the histone, leading to the increase in histone acetylation and gene transcription. HDACs deacetylate acetylated histone in epigenetic regulation [Falkenberg and Johnstone, 2014].

Histone acetylation is one of the major epigenetic mechanisms and belongs to the posttranslational modifications of histones. Histone acetyltransferase is setting the mark, and deacetylase (HDAC) is responsible for removing the acetyl group from specific lysine residues of the histones. It has been shown that the inhibition of HDACs leads to a hyperacetylation of histones and in general to an imbalance of other histone modifications.

Evidence Collection Strategy

Include a description of the approach for identification and assembly of the evidence base for the KER. For evidence identification, include, for example, a description of the sources and dates of information consulted including expert knowledge, databases searched and associated search terms/strings.  Include also a description of study screening criteria and methodology, study quality assessment considerations, the data extraction strategy and links to any repositories/databases of relevant references.Tabular summaries and links to relevant supporting documentation are encouraged, wherever possible. More help

Evidence Supporting this KER

Addresses the scientific evidence supporting KERs in an AOP setting the stage for overall assessment of the AOP. More help
Biological Plausibility
Addresses the biological rationale for a connection between KEupstream and KEdownstream.  This field can also incorporate additional mechanistic details that help inform the relationship between KEs, this is useful when it is not practical/pragmatic to represent these details as separate KEs due to the difficulty or relative infrequency with which it is likely to be measured.   More help

HDACs are important proteins in the epigenetic regulation of gene transcription. Upon the inhibition of HDAC by HDIs, lysine in histone remains acetylated which leads to transcriptional activation or repression, changes in DNA replication, and DNA damage repair [Wade et al., 2008].

In all eukaryotes, the DNA containing the genetic information of an organism is organized in chromatin. The basic unit of chromatin is the nucleosome around which the naked DNA is wrapped. A nucleosome consists of two copies of each of the core histones H2A, H2B, H3, and H4 [Luger et al., 1997]. In order to dynamically regulate this highly complex structure several mechanisms are involved, including the posttranslational modifications of histones (reviewed in [Bannister and Kouzarides, 2011; Kouzarides, 2007]. For a long time, it is known that histones get acetylated and that this reaction is catalyzed by histone acetyltransferases (HAT) whereas the acetyl groups are removed by histone deacetylases (HDAC). Inhibition of HDACs by small-molecule compounds leads to hyperacetylation of the histones as the homeostasis of acetylation and deacetylation is disturbed (reviewed in [Gallinari et al., 2007]).

Uncertainties and Inconsistencies
Addresses inconsistencies or uncertainties in the relationship including the identification of experimental details that may explain apparent deviations from the expected patterns of concordance. More help

HDACs affect a large number of cellular proteins including histones, which reminds us the HDAC inhibition by HDIs hyperacetylates cellular proteins other than histones and exhibit additional biological effects. It is also noted that HDAC functions as the catalytic subunits of the large protein complex, which suggests that the inhibition of HDAC by HDIs affects the function of the large multiprotein complexes of HDAC [Falkenberg and Johnstone, 2014].  Related-analysis are usually indirect or in purified systems, therefore a direct cause-consequence relation is difficult to obtain.

Known modulating factors

This table captures specific information on the MF, its properties, how it affects the KER and respective references.1.) What is the modulating factor? Name the factor for which solid evidence exists that it influences this KER. Examples: age, sex, genotype, diet 2.) Details of this modulating factor. Specify which features of this MF are relevant for this KER. Examples: a specific age range or a specific biological age (defined by...); a specific gene mutation or variant, a specific nutrient (deficit or surplus); a sex-specific homone; a certain threshold value (e.g. serum levels of a chemical above...) 3.) Description of how this modulating factor affects this KER. Describe the provable modification of the KER (also quantitatively, if known). Examples: increase or decrease of the magnitude of effect (by a factor of...); change of the time-course of the effect (onset delay by...); alteration of the probability of the effect; increase or decrease of the sensitivity of the downstream effect (by a factor of...) 4.) Provision of supporting scientific evidence for an effect of this MF on this KER. Give a list of references.  More help
Response-response Relationship
Provides sources of data that define the response-response relationships between the KEs.  More help

SAHA or MS-275 treatment leads to an increase in acetylation of specific lysine residues on histones more than two-fold [Choudhary et al., 2009]. Acetylation of the variant histone H2AZ-a mark for DNA damage sites- was upregulated almost 20-fold by SAHA, whereas a number of sites on the core histones H3 and H4 are several times more highly regulated in response to SAHA than by MS-275 [Choudhary et al., 2009].

TSA (100 ng/ml) treatment leads to accumulation of the acetylated histones in a variety of mammalian cell lines, and the partially purified HDAC from wild-type FM3A cells was effectively inhibited by TSA (Ki = 3.4 nM) [Yoshida et al., 1990].

Information regarding the approximate time-scale of the changes in KEdownstream relative to changes in KEupstream (i.e., do effects on KEdownstream lag those on KEupstream by seconds, minutes, hours, or days?). More help
Known Feedforward/Feedback loops influencing this KER
Define whether there are known positive or negative feedback mechanisms involved and what is understood about their time-course and homeostatic limits. More help

Domain of Applicability

A free-text section of the KER description that the developers can use to explain their rationale for the taxonomic, life stage, or sex applicability structured terms. More help

The relationship between HDAC inhibition and increase in histone acetylation is conceivably well conserved among various species including mammals.

  • Hyperacetylation by HDIs such as SAHA and Cpd-60 are observed in mice (Mus musculus) [Schroeder et al., 2013].
  • TSA induces acetylation of histone H4 in a time-dependent manner in mouse cell lines (Mus musculus) [Alberts et al., 1998].
  • AR-42, a novel HDI, induces hyperacetylation in human pancreatic cancer cells (Homo sapiens) [Henderson et al., 2016].
  • SAHA and MS-275 lead to the hyperacetylation of lysine residues of histones in human cell lines of epithelial (A549) and lymphoid origin (Jurkat) (Homo sapiens) [Choudhary et al., 2009].
  • SAHA treatment induces the H3 and H4 histone acetylation in human corneal fibroblasts and conjunctiva from rabbits after glaucoma filtration surgery (Homo sapiens, Oryctolagus cuniculus) [Sharma et al., 2016].
  • TSA induces the acetylation of histones H3 and H4 in Brassica napus microspore cultures (Brassica napu) [Li et al., 2014].


List of the literature that was cited for this KER description. More help

Alberts, A.S. et al. (1998), "Activation of SRF-regulated chromosomal templates by Rho-family GTPases requires a signal that also induces H4 hyperacetylation", Cell 92:475-487

Bannister, A. J. and Kouzarides, T. (2011), "Regulation of chromatin by histone modifications", Cell Res 21:381-395

Chen, S. et al. (2018), "Valproic acid attenuates traumatic spinal cord injury-induced inflammation via STAT1 and NF-kB pathway dependent of HDAC3", J Neuroinflammation 15:150

Choudhary, C. et al. (2009), "Lysine acetylation targets protein complexes and co-regulates major cellular functions", Science 325:834-840

Cousens, L. S. et al. (1979), "Different accessibilities in chromatin to histone acetylase", J Biol Chem 254:1716-1723

Dayan, C. and Hales, B.F. (2014), "Effects of ethylene glycol monomethyl ether and its metabolite, 2-methoxyacetic acid, on organogenesis stage mouse limbs in vitro", Birth Defects Res (Part B) 101:254-261

Eikel, D. et al. (2006), "Teratogenic effects mediated by inhibition of histone deacetylases: evidence from quantitative structure activity relationships of 20 valproic acid derivatives", Chem Res Toxicol 19:272-278

Falkenberg, K.J. and Johnstone, R.W. (2014), "Histone deacetylases and their inhibitors in cancer, neurological disease and immune disorders", Nat Rev Drug Discov 13:673-691

Gallinari, P. et al. (2007), "HDACs, histone deacetylation and gene transcription: From molecular biology to cancer therapeutics", Cell Res 17:195-211

Gottlicher, M. et al. (2001), "Valproic acid defines a novel class of HDAC inhibitors inducing differentiation of transformed cells", EMBO J 20:6969-6978

Henderson, S.E. et al. (2016), "Suppression of tumor growth and muscle wasting in a transgenic mouse model of pancreatic cancer by the novel histone deacetylase inhibitor AR-42", Neoplasia 18:765-774

Kouzarides, T. (2007), "Chromatin modifications and their function", Cell 128:693-705

Lagger, G. et al. (2002), "Essential function of histone deacetylase 1 in proliferation control and CDK inhibitor repression", EMBO J 21:2672-2681

Li, H. et al. (2014), "The histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A promotes totipotentcy in the male gametophyte", Plant Cell 26:195-209

Luger, K. et al. (1997), "Crystal structure of the nucleosome core particle at 2.8 a resolution", Nature 389:251-260

Menegola, E. et al. (2005), "Inhibition of histone deacetylase activity on specific embryonic tissues as a new mechanism for teratogenicity", Birth Defects Res B Dev Reprod Toxicol 74:392-398

Riggs, M.G. et al. (1977), "N-butyrate causes histone modification in HeLa and friend erythroleukaemia cells", Nature 268:462-464

Schroeder, F.A. et al. (2013), "A selective HDAC 1/2 inhibitor modulates chromatin and gene expression in brain and alters mouse behavior in two mood-related tests", PLoS One 8:e71323

Sharma, A. et al. (2016), "Epigenetic modification prevents excessive wound healing and scar formation after glaucoma filtration surgery", Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 57:3381-3389

Wade, M.G. et al. (2008), "Methoxyacetic acid-induced spermatocyte death is associated with histone hyperacetylation in rats", Biol Reprod 78:822-831

Yoshida, M. et al. (1990), "Potent and specific inhibition of mammalian histone deacetylase both in vivo and in vitro by trichostatin A", J Biol Chem 265:17174-17179