Effect of Ethanol on Chromatin and Nonhistone Nuclear Proteins in Rat Brain
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- Mahadev, K. & Vemuri, M.C. Neurochem Res (1998) 23: 1179. doi:10.1023/A:1020778018149
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Changes in chromatin conformation and nonhistone nuclear protein composition were analyzed in various classes of nuclei from the brain of control and chronic ethanol fed rats. Conformational studies of chromatin by circular dichroism spectrophotometry showed an increased molar ellipticity [θ] of chromatin in neuronal, astrocyte and oligodendroglial nuclei due to ethanol treatment. The increased molar ellipticity directly indicates relaxed state of chromatin in these nuclei, which facilitates ready state of transcription and replication. Further, the circular dichroism spectrum, due to a change over point at ~260 nm also indicated the possibility of DNA-protein interactions governing chromatin conformation. In microglial nuclei, the circular dichroism spectrum showed a decrease in molar ellipticity due to ethanol treatment, indicating the existence of chromatin in a condensed state. This type of circular dichroism change points towards the possibility of closed conformation, which renders the gene sequences not accessible due to conformational constrains of the chromatin. Since circular dichroism changes indicated the involvement of DNA-protein interactions, changes in nonhistone nuclear proteins were analyzed in these classes of nuclei by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. In astrocytes and oligodendrocytes two new proteins appeared in each type of nuclei while in neurons and microglial nuclei four different proteins were either completely missing or showed a decrease. These changes indicate the presence of dynamic flux of nonhistone nuclear proteins in chromatin. Taken together, the changes in chromatin conformation, associated with specific changes in non histone nuclear protein composition suggest the modulation of chromatin as a response to ethanol evoked stimulus and has relevance in the regulation of cellular responses to ethanol crisis in brain.