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Monday, August 26, 2013

Epigenetics—New Frontier for Alcohol Research

The term “epigenetics” is rapidly becoming one of the more important watchwords in the field of alcohol research. Put simply, epigenetics is the study of changes in gene function that occur without a change in the body’s genetic code. Instead epigenetic “markers” turn genes “on” and “off.” By acting on these epigenetic markers, environmental factors such as diet, stress, and prenatal nutrition can make an imprint on the genes that are active in different tissues and at various stages of life. Even more importantly, these alterations may be passed along from one generation to the next. The result is that the influences from harmful environmental factors can be extended beyond the individual and passed to his or her offspring. This issue of Alcohol Research: Current Reviewsexplores the concept of epigenetics and how it may influence the body’s response to alcohol and the development of alcohol use disorders and various disease states.
18 Dysregulation of microRNA Expression and Function Contributes to the Etiology of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders [PDF]
Sridevi Balaraman, Ph.D.; Joseph D. Tingling; Pai-Chi Tsai; and Rajesh C. Miranda, Ph.D.
25 Alcohol, DNA Methylation, and Cancer [PDF]
Marta Varela-Rey, Ph.D.; Ashwin Woodhoo, Ph.D.; Maria-Luz Martinez-Chantar, Ph.D.; José M. Mato, Ph.D.; and Shelly C. Lu, M.D.
37 In Utero Alcohol Exposure, Epigenetic Changes, and Their Consequences [PDF]
Michelle Ungerer; Jaysen Knezovich, M.Sc.; and Michele Ramsay, Ph.D.
47 Epigenetic Effects of Ethanol on the Liver and Gastrointestinal System [PDF]
Shivendra D. Shukla, Ph.D., and Robert W. Lim, Ph.D.
87 Circadian Disruption: Potential Implications in Inflammatory and Metabolic Diseases Associated With Alcohol [PDF]
Robin M. Voigt, Ph.D.; Christopher B. Forsyth, Ph.D.; and Ali Keshavarzian, M.D.
97 Epigenetic Targets for Reversing Immune Defects Caused by Alcohol Exposure [PDF]
Brenda J. Curtis, Ph.D.; Anita Zahs, Ph.D.; and Elizabeth J. Kovacs, Ph.D.
114 Glossary [PDF]

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