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Toxicol In Vitro. 2018 Feb;46:66-76. doi: 10.1016/j.tiv.2017.10.004. Epub 2017 Oct 3.

Gene expression signatures after ethanol exposure in differentiating embryoid bodies.

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Department of Molecular and Life Science, Hanyang University, Ansan, Republic of Korea.
Institute of Natural Science and Technology, Hanyang University, Ansan, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:
Department of Molecular and Life Science, Hanyang University, Ansan, Republic of Korea; Department of Bionanotechnology, Hanyang University, Seoul, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:


During the differentiation process, various epigenetic factors regulate the precise expression of important genes and control cellular fate. During this stage, the differentiating cells become vulnerable to external stimuli. Here, we used an early neural differentiation model to observe ethanol-mediated transcriptional alterations. Our objective was to identify important molecular regulators of ethanol-related alterations in the genome during differentiation. A transcriptomic analysis was performed to profile the mRNA expression in differentiating embryoid bodies with or without ethanol treatment. In total, 147 differentially expressed genes were identified in response to 50mM ethanol. Of these differentially expressed genes, 78 genes were up-regulated and 69 genes were down-regulated. Our analysis revealed a strong association among the transcript signatures of the important modulators which were involved in protein modification, protein synthesis and gene expression. Additionally, ethanol-mediated activation of DNA transcription was observed. We also profiled ethanol-responsive transcription factors (TFs), upstream transcriptional regulators and TF-binding motifs in the differentiating embryoid bodies. In this study, we established a platform that we hope will help other researchers determine the ethanol-mediated changes that occur during cellular differentiation.


DNA transcription; Ethanol; Gene expression; Neural differentiation; Post-translational modification; Transcription factors

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