How cells sense and respond to environmental cues remains a central question of biological research. Recent evidence suggests that DNA transcription is regulated by chromatin organization. However, the mechanism for relaying the cytoplasmic signaling to chromatin remodeling remains incompletely understood. Although much emphasis has been put on delineating transcriptional output of growth factor/hormonal signaling pathways, accumulated evidence from yeast and mammalian systems suggest that metabolic signals also play critical roles in determining chromatin structure. Here we summarize recent progress in understanding the molecular connection between metabolism and epigenetic modifications of chromatin implicated in a variety of diseases including cancer.
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