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Open Badges Commentary

Histone deacetylases – a new target for suppression of cartilage degradation?

John S Mort

Author Affiliations

Shriners Hospital for Children; and Department of Surgery, McGill University; Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2005, 7:155-156  doi:10.1186/ar1781

Published: 16 June 2005


Increased expression of metalloproteinases is a fundamental aspect of arthritispathology and its control is a major therapeutic objective. In cartilage cultured in the presence of the cytokines interleukin-1 and oncostatin M, chondrocytes produce enhanced levels of metalloproteinases of the ADAMTS (a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs) and MMP (matrix metalloproteinase) families, resulting in the degradation of aggrecan and collagen. The histone deacetylase inhibitors trichostatin A and butyrate were shown to drastically reduce expression of these enzymes relatively selectively, with concomitant inhibition of breakdown of matrix components. This family of enzymes is therefore a promising target for therapeutic intervention.