Acetylation of lysines is a prominent form of modification in mammalian proteins. Deacetylation of proteins is catalyzed by histone deacetylases, traditionally named after their role in histone deacetylation, transcriptional modulation, and epigenetic regulation. Despite the link between histone deacetylases and chromatin structure, some of the histone deacetylases reside in various compartments in the cytoplasm. Here, we review how these cytoplasmic histone deacetylases are regulated, the identification of nonhistone substrates, and the functional implications of their nondeacetylase enzymatic activities.
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