Histone deacetylase complexes trigger the programmed repression of regions of the genome which is one of the critical first steps in epigenetic regulation. HDAC’s 1, 2 and 3 are incorporated into specific complexes and this is fundamental to their function since this directs both substrate specificity as well as regulating the enzymatic activity of the HDAC’s.
Our groups are working towards the atomic structure of HDAC complexes using Cryo Electron Microscopy and we are in the process of developing some HDAC complex specific inhibitors as tool compounds. Specific inhibitors will allow us to dissect the function of an individual HDAC complex from the effects of other complexes. As HDAC inhibitors are currently used to treat some cancers with limited specificity an understanding of the structure and function of specific of histone deacetylaase complexes may enable more specific HDAC inhibitor drugs with fewer side-effects to be designed.
Academic entry requirements: UK Bachelor Degree with at least 2:1 in a relevant subject or overseas equivalent.