Hepatic complications are a common side-effect of alcoholism. Without the detoxification capabilities of the liver, alcohol misuse induces changes in gene and protein expression throughout the body. A global proteomics approach was used to identify these protein changes in the brain. We utilised human autopsy tissue from the superior frontal gyrus (SFG) of six cirrhotic alcoholics, six alcoholics without comorbid disease, and six non-alcoholic non-cirrhotic controls. Synaptic proteins were isolated and used in two-dimensional differential in-gel electrophoresis coupled with mass spectrometry. Many expression differences were confined to one or other alcoholic sub-group. Cirrhotic alcoholics showed 99 differences in protein expression levels from controls, of which half also differed from non-comorbid alcoholics. This may reflect differences in disease severity between the sub-groups of alcoholics, or differences in patterns of harmful drinking. Alternatively, the protein profiles may result from differences between cirrhotic and non-comorbid alcoholics in subjects responses to alcohol misuse. Ten proteins were identified in at least two spots on the 2D gel; they were involved in basal energy metabolism, synaptic vesicle recycling, and chaperoning. These post-translationally modified isoforms were differentially regulated in cirrhotic alcoholics, indicating a level of epigenetic control not previously observed in this disorder.
Keywords: Alcoholism, cirrhosis, proteomics, post-translational modification, microndular Cirrhosis, nutrition, neurodegenerative disease, Mass Spectroscopy (MS), Phosphorylation, Acetylation, S Nitrosylation
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