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How alcohol drinking affects our genes: an epigenetic point of view

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This work highlights recent studies in epigenetic mechanisms that play a role in alcoholism, which is a complex multifactorial disorder. There is a large body of evidence showing that alcohol can modify gene expression through epigenetic processes, namely DNA methylation and nucleosomal remodeling via histone modifications. In that regard, chronic exposure to ethanol modifies DNA and histone methylation, histone acetylation, and microRNA expression. The alcohol-mediated chromatin remodeling in the brain promotes the transition from use to abuse and addiction. Unravelling the multiplex pattern of molecular modifications induced by ethanol could support the development of new therapies for alcoholism and drug addiction targeting epigenetic processes.
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Keywords: DNA methylation; alcohol metabolism; chromatin remodeling; epigenetics; histone modifications; modifications d’histones; métabolisme de l’alcool; méthylation d’ADN; remodelage de la chromatine; épigénétique

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Cell Biology and Neurobiology, IBCN-CNR, c/o Department of Sense Organs, Sapienza University of Rome, Viale del Policlinico, 155 (00161), Rome, Italy. 2: Department of Experimental Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, Viale del Policlinico, 155 (00161), Rome, Italy. 3: Department of Sense Organs, Sapienza University of Rome, Viale del Policlinico, 155 (00161), Rome, Italy. 4: Laboratory of Cell Biology, Department of Anatomy and Histology, Medical University, BG-9002 Varna, Bulgaria. 5: Centro Riferimento Alcologico Regione Lazio, Sapienza University of Rome, Viale del Policlinico, 155 (00161), Rome, Italy.

Publication date: January 1, 2019

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