Protein lysine acylation and cysteine succination by intermediates of energy metabolism

ACS Chem Biol. 2012 Jun 15;7(6):947-60. doi: 10.1021/cb3001793. Epub 2012 May 16.


In the past few years, several new protein post-translational modifications that use intermediates in metabolism have been discovered. These include various acyl lysine modifications (formylation, propionylation, butyrylation, crotonylation, malonylation, succinylation, myristoylation) and cysteine succination. Here, we review the discovery and the current understanding of these modifications. Several of these modifications are regulated by the deacylases, sirtuins, which use nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), an important metabolic small molecule. Interestingly, several of these modifications in turn regulate the activity of metabolic enzymes. These new modifications reveal interesting connections between metabolism and protein post-translational modifications and raise many questions for future investigations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acylation
  • Animals
  • Cysteine / metabolism*
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lysine / metabolism*
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational*
  • Proteins / metabolism*


  • Proteins
  • Lysine
  • Cysteine