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Differential response of human hepatocyte chromatin to HDAC inhibitors as a function of microenvironmental glucose level


Diabetes is a complex multifactorial disorder characterized by chronic hyperglycemia due to impaired insulin secretion. Recent observations suggest that the complexity of the disease cannot be entirely accounted for genetic predisposition and a compelling argument for an epigenetic component is rapidly emerging. The use of histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) in clinical setting is an emerging area of investigation. In this study, we have aimed to understand and compare the response of hepatocyte chromatin to valproic acid (VPA) and trichostatin A (TSA) treatments under normoglycemic or hyperglycemic conditions to expand our knowledge about the consequences of HDACi treatment in a diabetes cell model. Under normoglycemic conditions, these treatments promoted chromatin remodeling, as assessed by image analysis and H3K9ac and H3K9me2 abundance. Simultaneously, H3K9ac marks shifted to the nuclear periphery accompanied by HP1 dissociation from the heterochromatin and a G1 cell cycle arrest. More striking changes in the cell cycle progression and mitotic ratios required drastic treatment. Under hyperglycemic conditions, high glucose per se promoted chromatin changes similar to those promoted by VPA and TSA. Nonetheless, these results were not intensified in cells treated with HDACis under hyperglycemic conditions. Despite the absence of morphological changes being promoted, HDACi treatment seems to confer a physiological meaning, ameliorating the cellular hyperglycemic state through reduction of glucose production. These observations allow us to conclude that the glucose level to which the hepatocytes are subjected affects how chromatin responds to HDACi and their action under high-glucose environment might not reflect on chromatin remodeling. (AU)

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