Liver Damaged By Binge Drinking May Have a Hope
New Delhi, October 9: A recent discovery could lead to treatment for alcohol related liver diseases. A Washington based Indian-origin researcher has underlined energetic protein changes caused by binge drinking.
The research of Shivendra Shukla, Margaret Proctor Mulligan professor at the University of Missouri’s School of Medicine, shows that epigenetic modifications in histone (protein) structures occur within the liver as a result of heavy binge drinking. These epigenetic alterations are changes in genes that are not caused by changes in the DNA sequence or genetic code.
Histones are proteins that act like a spool to compact and organize the thread-like DNA strands which wrap around them. Histones work to protect the DNA strand and help it function correctly.
Although histone modification does occur naturally, Shukla and his team found that binge drinking results in unnatural modifications to histones. In turn, these changes adversely affect how a person’s genetic code is interpreted and how it is regulated. These changes initially cause inflammation and damage to the cells as they form, but it is also eventually the cause of more serious diseases such as cirrhosis and cancer.
The paper appeared in Hepatology International, the journal of the Asian Pacific Association for the study of the liver.