New research from the Morrow lab:
Have you ever wondered why symptoms such as anxiety and seizures are associated with alcohol withdrawal? These symptoms are caused in part by reduced activity of the GABA-A receptor, encoded by the Gabra1 gene, which is downregulated by excessive alcohol intake. Using pharmacology, genetics and epigenetics, the Morrow Lab found that Gabra1 expression is epigenetically regulated by histone deacetylation at the Gabra1 promoter, resulting in reduced expression. This finding opens the possibility of treating alcohol withdrawal with histone deacetylase inhibitors to restore Gabra1 expression.
Bohnsack JP, Patel VK, Morrow AL. (2017) Ethanol Exposure Regulates Gabra1 Expression via Histone Deacetylation at the Promoter in Cultured Cortical Neurons.
J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 363(1):1-11.