Responsible for the deacetylation of lysine residues on the N-terminal part of the core histones (H2A, H2B, H3 and H4). Histone deacetylation gives a tag for epigenetic repression and plays an important role in transcriptional regulation, cell cycle progression and developmental events. Histone deacetylases act via the formation of large multiprotein complexes. Involved in muscle maturation by repressing transcription of myocyte enhancer factors such as MEF2A, MEF2B and MEF2C. During muscle differentiation, it shuttles into the cytoplasm, allowing the expression of myocyte enhancer factors. May be involved in Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) latency, possibly by repressing the viral BZLF1 gene. Positively regulates the transcriptional repressor activity of FOXP3. Serves as a corepressor of RARA, causing its deacetylation and inhibition of RARE DNA element binding. In association with RARA, plays a role in the repression of microRNA-10a and thereby in the inflammatory response.