Role of glutathione in the regulation of epigenetic mechanisms in disease. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Role of glutathione in the regulation of epigenetic mechanisms in disease.
Free Radic Biol Med. 2017 Nov ;112:36-48. Epub 2017 Jul 10. PMID: 28705657
José Luis García-Giménez
Epigenetics is a rapidly growing field that studies gene expression modifications not involving changes in the DNA sequence. Histone H3, one of the basic proteins in the nucleosomes that make up chromatin, is S-glutathionylated in mammalian cells and tissues, making Gamma-L-glutamyl-L-cysteinylglycine, glutathione (GSH), a physiological antioxidant and second messenger in cells, a new post-translational modifier of the histone code that alters the structure of the nucleosome. However, the role of GSH in the epigenetic mechanisms likely goes beyond a mere structural function. Evidence supports the hypothesis that there is a link between GSH metabolism and the control of epigenetic mechanisms at different levels (i.e., substrate availability, enzymatic activity for DNA methylation, changes in the expression of microRNAs, and participation in the histone code). However, little is known about the molecular pathways by which GSH can control epigenetic events. Studying mutations in enzymes involved in GSH metabolism and the alterations of the levels of cofactors affecting epigenetic mechanisms appears challenging. However, the number of diseases induced by aberrant epigenetic regulation is growing, so elucidating the intricate network between GSH metabolism, oxidative stress and epigenetics could shed light on how their deregulation contributes to the development of neurodegeneration, cancer, metabolic pathologies and many other types of diseases.