Inhibition of histone acetylation by curcumin reduces alcohol-induced expression of heart development-related transcription factors in cardiac progenitor cells

Linyi Wang, Huichao Sun, Bo Pan, Jing Zhu, Guoying Huang, Xupei Huang, Jie Tian
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 2012 August 3, 424 (3): 593-6
Alcohol exposure during pregnancy may cause congenital heart disease (CHD). In our previous studies, we found that alcohol selectively increased acetylation of histone H3 at lysine 9 (H3K9) and enhanced the expression of heart development-related genes in cardiac progenitor cells. The objective of this study is to investigate the protective effects of histone acetyltransferases (HATs) inhibitor, curcumin, on histone hyperacetylation and the over-expression of heart development genes induced by alcohol. Western blot analysis was employed to detect the acetylation levels of histone H3K9 and real-time PCR was applied to measure the expressions of heart development-related transcription factors, GATA4, Mef2c and Tbx5 (GMT). Our results showed that alcohol increased the acetylation of H3K9 by 2.76-fold (P<0.05) and significantly enhanced the expression of GATA4 and Mef2c (P<0.05). When cells were treated with alcohol plus 25 μM curcumin, the hyperacetylation of H3K9 and over-expression of GATA4 and Mef2c by alcohol was reversed. These data indicate that curcumin can correct the over-expression of cardiac genes by reversing the alcohol induced hyperacetylation of histone H3 at lysine 9 in cardiac progenitor cells, suggesting that curcumin is protective against alcohol-induced cardiac gene over-expression that may result in heart malformations.

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