Other research efforts should focus on the potential exploitation of epigenetic http://www.selleckchem.com/products/ldk378.html mechanisms for alcoholism treatment. Epigenetic therapeutics, such as HDACis, offer unique advantages in treating diseases through chromatin-dependent changes in gene expression. These ��master regulators�� can affect expression of multiple genes. Therefore, in order to understand the effects of these agents on alcohol behaviors, it is important to study their mechanisms of action and identify the range of genes and molecular pathways affected. Large-scale genomic studies should focus on the global relationships between chromatin marks and gene expression in the context of chronic alcohol exposure and epigenetic therapeutics. Finally, multiple studies in humans and animal models have highlighted the importance of the genetic component in alcohol addiction (Crabbe 2008; Mayfield et al.
2008; Spanagel 2009). To better understand the interplay between genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors in controlling gene expression in alcoholism, integrative approaches across studies are warranted. Many epigenetic therapeutics have been developed for other diseases, and understanding the functional relationships between epigenetic processes and the transcriptome in the alcoholic brain may lead to new molecular targets for medication development for human alcoholism. Acknowledgments This work was supported by a K-Award from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (AA�C017234). The author thanks Dr. Adron Harris for critical reading of the manuscript. Footnotes 1The first step of gene expression (i.
e., transcription) involves the synthesis of intermediary molecules called messenger RNAs (mRNAs) that are copies of the gene(s) Dacomitinib to be expressed and which serve as templates for the synthesis of the encoded protein(s) during the second step of gene expression (i.e., translation). A transcriptome is the entirety of all mRNAs found in a certain cell, organ, or organism. 2The dose administered was 6 g/kg of a 32 percent ethanol solution. Financial Disclosure The author declares that he has no competing financial interests.
Alcohol exposure of the developing embryo and fetus in utero can have a wide range of detrimental effects collectively referred to as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Researchers are intensively investigating the mechanisms that may contribute to alcohol��s effects on the developing organism and to the resulting consequences, particularly with respect to the cognitive and behavioral deficits associated with FASD. These studies have yielded increasing evidence that epigenetic mechanisms play an important role in these processes.