histone deacetylases

Definition of histone deacetylase

histone deacetylase

(HIS-tone dee-uh-SEH-tih-lays)
An enzyme that removes a small molecule called an acetyl group from histones (proteins found in chromosomes). This changes the way the histones bind to DNA and may affect its activity. Histone deacetylase inhibitors are being studied in the treatment of cancer. Also called HDAC.

Source: NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms