Glutathione deficiency induces epigenetic alterations of vitamin D metabolism genes in the livers of high-fat diet-fed obese mice
Obesity has been correlating with low levels of glutathione (GSH) and 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)VD3). The liver is the principal site for the 25(OH)VD3 biosynthesis. This study investigated whether GSH deficiency induces epigenetic alterations that impair Vitamin D (VD) metabolism genes in the livers of HFD-fed mice. The expression of the VD metabolism genes CYP2R1 and CYP27A1 (25-hydroxylase), CYP27B1 (1-α-hydroxylase), and vitamin D receptor (VDR) were downregulated in the livers of mice fed an HFD (GSH- deficient) compared with control diet-fed group. The expression of CYP24A1 (24-hydroxylase) was significantly increased, which catabolizes both 25(OH)VD3 and 1α,25-hydroxyvitaminD3. Gene-specific hypermethylation of 25-hydroxylase, 1-α-hydroxylase, and VDR, and hypomethylation of CYP24A1 was observed in HFD-fed mice. GSH deficiency induced in cultured hepatocytes caused an increase in oxidative stress and alterations in VD regulatory genes. Similarly, elevated global DNA methylation, Dnmt activity, and 5-methylcytosine but decreased Tet activity and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine were observed in the GSH-deficient hepatocytes and the liver of HFD-fed mice. Replenishment of GSH by its prodrugs treatment beneficially altered epigenetic enzymes, and VD-metabolism genes in hepatocytes. HFD-induces GSH deficiency and epigenetically alters VD-biosynthesis pathway genes. This provides a biochemical mechanism for the VD-deficiency and potential benefits of GSH treatment in reducing 25(OH)VD3-deficiency.