Chromatin Alterations Produced by Drugs of Abuse and Binge Eating

Project: Research project

Project Details


Chromatin Alterations Produced by Drugs of Abuse and Binge Eating Chromatin Alterations Produced by Drugs of Abuse and Binge Eating Abstract: Substance use disorders and eating disorders such as binge eating disorder (BED) are significant public health problems in the United States. It is clear that a host of genetic, biological, psychosocial, and environmental factors, as well their interactions, contribute to vulnerability to the development and clinical course of these disorders. Our knowledge of the molecular underpinnings of substance use and eating disorders has been strengthened by the study of epigenetic processes, which includes processes such as DNA methylation, histone modification, transcription factor and chromatin remodeling regulatory complexes, nucleosome repositioning, and non-coding RNAchromatin interactions [2]. There is now considerable evidence that epigenetic factors mediate some of the biobehavioral phenotypes observed in substance use and eating disorders [3-7]. The identification of the specific epigenetic modifications that are either a result of or are associated with substance use and/or binge eating disorders are an important first step in understanding how epigenetic factors influence gene expression that may in turn contribute to lasting vulnerability or maintenance of the disease. Changes in phosphorylation of methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2) has previously been shown to be associated with addiction. We will now extend these findings to a model of binge-like eating. We will use a proteomics approach to determine the specific posttranslational modifications of MeCP2 after cocaine self-administration and binge-eating using mouse models that have been established in our laboratories. The comparison of results from both drug selfadministration and binge eating experiments will provide novel information on epigenetic changes that result from pathological intake of both drug and non-drug rewards.
Effective start/end date1/1/1412/31/14


  • ASU: Mayo Seed Grant: $20,000.00


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