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Molecular Gastroenterology Research Group, Academic Unit of Surgical Oncology, Department of Oncology, University of Sheffield, Beech Hill Road, Sheffield, UK
; Tel: +44 (0)114 271 3004
Mol. BioSyst., 2012,8, 1609-1612
24 Jan 2012,
23 Feb 2012
First published online
28 Feb 2012
The short-chain fatty acid butyrate is classically referred to as an inhibitor of histone deacetylases (HDACi), however evidence from direct assays is both sparse and contradictory. This paper assesses the strength of the historical evidence, potential gaps, inadequacies and simplifications in the butyrate-as-HDACi hypothesis. An alternate model to explain the action of butyrate is proposed wherein butyrate acts as a product inhibitor of deacetylation. The model makes testable predictions which may enable future determination of the mode of action of this and other SCFAs.
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