Giving Treg cells a boost
Toxicity due to widespread epigenetic effects has prevented the use of pan-HDAC inhibitors in indications beyond advanced cancer, in which at least one such drug has reached the market. A team at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania looking for a way around this has found that specific inhibition of HDAC6 increases the immune suppressive functions of Treg cells.1
Histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) is one of the few isoforms for which highly selective inhibitors have been developed, and the findings could therefore point to new indications in autoimmune diseases and transplant rejection for the trio of biotechs that have disclosed programs against the target.
HDACs are a class of enzymes thatpredominantly act on histones toregulate gene expression. Pan-HDAC inhibitors, such as Zolinza vorinostat,