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Alcohol metabolism and histone acetylation

Acetyl-coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA) synthetase (AceCS), an enzyme that converts acetate to acetyl-CoA, is activated by SIRT1. Acetyl-CoA is used by histone acetyltransferase (HAT) to acetylate the lysine residues in histone proteins. This acetylation neutralizes the positive charge of the lysine moieties and allows the chromatin to assume an open conformation, resulting in gene activation. SIRT1 also de-acetylates acetylated histones, resulting in gene silencing. Thus, SIRT1 acts as a sensor that balances gene activation and gene silencing based on the cell’s energy status. Alcohol metabolism results in acetate formation, which is used in extrahepatic tissues to produce acetyl-CoA. (Source: Zakhari S. Alcohol metabolism and epigenetics changes. Alcohol Res 2013;35(1):6-16. Public domain.)

Associated Disorders

  • Acute alcohol withdrawal
  • Acute renal failure
  • Alcoholic cardiomyopathy
  • Alcoholic peripheral neuropathy
  • Crush syndrome
  • Delirium tremens
  • Fetal alcohol myopathy
  • Hepatic cirrhosis
  • Hyperkalemia
  • Nutritional deficiency