Summary: Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are part of the epigenetic machinery that regulates transcriptional processes. The current paradigm is that HDACs silence gene expression via regulation of histone protein lysine deacetylation, or by forming corepressor complexes with transcription factors. However, HDACs are more than just nuclear proteins, and they can interact and deacetylate a growing number of nonhistone proteins to regulate cellular function. Cancer-field studies have shown that deranged HDAC activity results in uncontrolled proliferation, inflammation, and fibrosis; all pathologies that also may occur in kidney disease. Over the past decade, studies have emerged suggesting that HDAC inhibitors may prevent and potentially treat various models of acute kidney injury. This review focuses on the physiology of kidney HDACs and highlights the recent advances using HDAC inhibitors to potentially treat kidney disease patients.