Chase_2012_Nicotine induces chromatin remodelling.pdf (605.91 kB)

Nicotine induces chromatin remodelling through decreases in the  methyltransferases GLP, G9a, Setdb1 and levels of H3K9me2

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journal contribution
posted on 10.06.2014 by Kayla A. Chase, Rajiv P. Sharma
Studies examining the epigenetic effects of nicotine are limited, but indicate that nicotine can promote a transcriptionally permissive chromatin environment by increasing acetylation of histone H3 and H4. To further explore nicotine-induced histone modifications, we measured histone methyltransferase (HMT) mRNA expression as well as total and promoter-specific H3K9me2 levels. Following administration of nicotine, HMT mRNA and H3K9me2 levels were examined in mouse primary cortical neuronal culture and cortex extracted from mice injected intraperitoneally, as well as in human lymphocyte culture. Furthermore, Bdnf/BDNF mRNA levels were examined as an epigenetically regulated read-out of gene expression. There was a significant decrease of the HMT GLP, G9a and Setdb1 mRNA expression in the nicotine-treated tissue examined, with significant decreases seen in both total and promoter-specific H3K9me2 levels. Increasing doses of nicotine resulted in significant decreases in Bdnf/BDNF promoter specific H3K9me2 binding, leading to enhanced Bdnf/BDNF transcription. Taken together, our data suggest that nicotine reduces markers of a restrictive epigenomic state, thereby leading to a more permissive epigenomic environment.


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This is a copy of an article published in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology © 2013 Cambridge University Press. The final publication is available at


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