Alcohol Metabolism and Epigenetic Methylation and Acetylation

Marisol Resendiz, Sherry Chiao Ling Lo, Jill K. Badin, Ya Jen Chiu, Feng C. Zhou

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


The multifaceted nature of alcohol as a solvent, nutrient, vessel and urinary tract regulator, blood sugar and neuronal activity suppressor, anxiolytic, addictive substance, teratogen, and common drink throughout history, make it one of the most fascinating molecules of all time. In this review, we will portray an additional image of alcohol as a dietary substance that can reach the inner most center of our life - at the level of DNA and chromatin - leaving lasting marks that may serve as a game changer for molecular processes occurring throughout life. This chapter will first discuss how alcohol, through its metabolism, can affect methyl and acetyl donation and transferring enzymes, arriving at DNA methylation, histone methylation and acetylation. In addition, how alcohol contributes to the multiple dimensions of epigenetic regulation will be elaborated. Specifically, how the above changes may alter gene transcription and cellular function will be elucidated. Finally, how some of the alcohol-mediated methylation changes may be carried through the germ line to influence subsequent generations will be discussed. Understanding the newly identified nature of alcohol as an agent of epigenetic change will expand our understanding of its long-range influences on cellular function, and its contribution to alcohol disease. A greater understanding of this will also help in the future to design new treatments and preventative strategies, including the optimization of alcohol-related disease diagnosis that may be etched by alcohol into patients' DNA via DNA methylation and other epigenetic change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMolecular Aspects of Alcohol and Nutrition
Subtitle of host publicationA Volume in the Molecular Nutrition Series
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780128010037
ISBN (Print)9780128007730
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Alcohol metabolism
  • DNA methylation
  • Epigenetics
  • Histone acetylation
  • Histone methylation
  • Nutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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  • Cite this

    Resendiz, M., Lo, S. C. L., Badin, J. K., Chiu, Y. J., & Zhou, F. C. (2016). Alcohol Metabolism and Epigenetic Methylation and Acetylation. In Molecular Aspects of Alcohol and Nutrition: A Volume in the Molecular Nutrition Series (pp. 287-303). Elsevier Inc..