Alcohol misuse is a major public health problem originating from genetic and environmental risk factors. Alterations in the brain epigenome may orchestrate changes in gene expression that lead to alcohol misuse and dependence. Through epigenome-wide association analysis of DNA methylation from human brain tissues, we identified a differentially methylated region, DMR-DLGAP2, associated with alcohol dependence. Methylation within DMR-DLGAP2 was found to be genotype-dependent, allele-specific and associated with reward processing in brain. Methylation at the DMR-DLGAP2 regulated expression of DLGAP2 in vitro, and Dlgap2-deficient mice showed reduced alcohol consumption compared with wild-type controls. These results suggest that DLGAP2 may be an interface for genetic and epigenetic factors controlling alcohol use and dependence.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience