What makes the cell differentiate?

Prog Biophys Mol Biol. 2012 Sep;110(1):41-3. doi: 10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2012.04.003. Epub 2012 Apr 20.


In the present paper, I propose a hypothesis whereby the necessity to maintain the permanent energy-dissipating metabolic flux represents the primary force that determines the eukaryotic cell's choice to grow, divide and/or differentiate. This view is based on the universal structure and the strict redox neutrality of the core metabolic network. I propose that the direct substrate level coupling between metabolism and gene expression through epigenetic mechanisms provides a mechanistic explanation of how this control is implemented.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Oxygen / metabolism


  • Oxygen