Sodium butyrate has various effects on cultured mammalian cells including inhibition of proliferation, induction of differentiation and induction or repression of gene expression.
As histone deacetylase inhibitors (iHDACs) Valproic Acid is as effective as butyrate and cheaper
Valproic acid: a viable alternative to sodium butyrate for enhancing protein expression in mammalian cell cultures. 2008
With valproic acid (VPA), volumetric and specific productivities of 200 mg/L and 20 pg/cell/day, respectively, were achieved in HEK293E cells with a 10-day process. As VPA is both FDA-approved and 5-fold less expensive than sodium butyrate (NaBut), we recommend it as a cost-effective alternative to this widely used enhancer of recombinant protein production from mammalian cells.