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Alcohol metabolism and epigenetic mechanisms interactions

Chronic alcohol consumption leads to lower than normal methylation (ie, hypomethylation) by decreasing the levels of S-adenosyl-methionine (SAM), which is used by DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) and histone methyl transferases (HMTs) to methylate DNA and histones, respectively. Furthermore, alcohol metabolism increases the ratio of the reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) to the oxidized nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+); this inhibits SIRT1, thereby interfering with normal histone acetylation patterns. (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