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J Nutr Biochem. 2013 Mar;24(3):606-12. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2012.03.006. Epub 2012 Jul 21.

Methylation of histone H3 at lysine 4 and expression of the maltase-glucoamylase gene are reduced by dietary resistant starch.

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Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Health Sciences, Chiba Prefectural University of Health Sciences, Japan.


Methylated histone H3 at lysine 4 (K4) is associated with euchromatin and is involved in the transactivation of genes. However, it is unknown whether histone methylation is involved with changes in gene expression induced by nutrients. In this study, we examined whether methylations of histone H3 at K4 on maltase-glucoamylase (Mgam), which is responsible for the digestion of starch in the small intestine, as well as Mgam expression were altered by feeding rats an indigestible starch (resistant starch, RS). The mRNA and protein levels and the activities of MGAM were reduced in rats fed an RS diet compared with those fed a regular starch diet. Furthermore, we found that decreases in di- and tri-methylation of histone H3 at K4, as well as reduced acetylation of histones H3 and H4 on the Mgam gene were associated with a reduction of Mgam gene expression. These results suggest that the reductions of jejunal MGAM levels and activities caused by the RS diet are regulated at the mRNA level through a decrease in methylation of histone H3 at K4 and reduced acetylation of histones H3 and H4 on the Mgam gene.

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