OBJECTIVES: Anxiety is associated with elevated levels of the inflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) and an increased risk for diseases with an inflammatory aetiology. In cancer, higher levels of IL-6 have been associated with increased expression of the epigenetic enzymes DNMT1 and Enhancer of Zeste Homolog 2 (EZH2). However, the relationship between IL-6 and DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) and EZH2 expression has not previously been examined in anxious individuals.
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has a crucial role in modulating neural and behavioral plasticity to drugs of abuse. We found a persistent downregulation of exon-specific Bdnf expression in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) in response to chronic opiate exposure, which was mediated by specific epigenetic modifications at the corresponding Bdnf gene promoters.
The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology
BACKGROUND: The human Val66Met polymorphism in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a key factor in neuroplasticity, synaptic function, and cognition, has been implicated in the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. BDNF is encoded by multiple transcripts with distinct regulation and localization, but the impact of the Val66Met polymorphism on BDNF regulation remains unclear.
Long non-protein coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are an important class of molecules that help orchestrate key cellular events. Although their functional roles in cells are not well understood, thousands of lncRNAs and a number of possible mechanisms by which they act have been reported. LncRNAs can exert their regulatory function in cells by interacting with epigenetic enzymes. In this study, we developed a tool to study lncRNA-protein interactions for high-throughput screening of small-molecule modulators using AlphaScreen technology.
Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal-dominant neurodegenerative disorder resulting from expansion of CAG repeats in the Huntingtin (HTT) gene. Previous studies have shown mutant HTT can alter expression of genes associated with dysregulated epigenetic modifications. One of the most widely studied chromatin modifications is trimethylated lysine 4 of histone 3 (H3K4me3).