PerspectiveBiochemistry

A Glucose-to-Gene Link

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Science  22 May 2009:
Vol. 324, Issue 5930, pp. 1021-1022
DOI: 10.1126/science.1174665

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Summary

Eukaryotic cell growth demands an increase in glucose uptake and metabolism to support energetic and biosynthetic needs, accompanied by changes in gene expression that control cell lineage or fate. These gene expression patterns are determined by lineage-specific or differentiation stage–specific transcription factors, as well as by modifications of chromatin (the complex of nucleic acids and proteins that constitute chromosomes) that regulate access of transcription factors to specific DNA loci. On page 1076 of this issue, Wellen et al. propose a new mechanism to link glucose metabolism to chromatin modification and global transcriptional control via the enzyme ATP-citrate lyase and production of acetyl–coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA) (1).