To make the appropriate developmental decisions or maintain homeostasis, cells and organisms must coordinate the expression of their genome and metabolic state. However, the molecular mechanisms that relay environmental cues such as nutrient availability to the appropriate gene expression response remain poorly understood. There is a growing awareness that central components of intermediary metabolism are cofactors or cosubstrates of chromatin-modifying enzymes. As such, their concentrations constitute a potential regulatory interface between the metabolic and chromatin states. In addition, there is increasing evidence for a direct involvement of classic metabolic enzymes in gene expression control. These dual-function proteins may provide a direct link between metabolic programing and the control of gene expression. Here, we discuss our current understanding of the molecular mechanisms connecting metabolism to gene expression and their implications for development and disease.

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Genes & Development
Department of Biochemistry

van der Knaap, J., & Verrijzer, P. (2016). Undercover: Gene control by metabolites and metabolic enzymes. Genes & Development (Vol. 30, pp. 2345–2369). doi:10.1101/gad.289140.116