Background: Histone deacetylase (HDAC) 8 is one of its family members catalyzes the removal of acetyl groups from N-terminal lysine residues of histone proteins thereby restricts transcription factors from being expressed. Inhibition of HDAC8 has become an emerging and effective anti-cancer therapy for various cancers. Application computational methodologies may result in identifying the key components that can be used in developing future potent HDAC8 inhibitors.
Results: Facilitating the discovery of novel and potential chemical scaffolds as starting points in the future HDAC8 inhibitor design, quantitative structure-activity relationship models were generated with 30 training set compounds using genetic function approximation (GFA) and Bayesian algorithms. Six GFA models were selected based on the significant statistical parameters calculated during model development. A Bayesian model using fingerprints was developed with a receiver operating characteristic curve cross-validation value of 0.902. An external test set of 54 diverse compounds was used in validating the models. 
Conclusion: Finally two out of six models based on their predictive ability over the test set compounds were selected as final GFA models. The Bayesian model has displayed a high classifying ability with the same test set compounds and the positively and negatively contributing molecular fingerprints were also unveiled by the model. The effectively contributing physicochemical properties and molecular fingerprints from a set of known HDAC8 inhibitors were identified and can be used in designing future HDAC8 inhibitors.

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