Chromatin: a capacitor of acetate for integrated regulation of gene expression and cell physiology

Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2014 Jun:26:53-8. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2014.06.002. Epub 2014 Jul 10.


Cancer tissues with lower global levels of histone acetylation display significantly increased rate of tumor recurrence or cancer-related mortality. The function global regulation of histone acetylation serves for the cell or how lower levels of histone acetylation may contribute to a more aggressive cancer phenotype has been unclear. Chromatin and histone modifications are currently thought to regulate only DNA-based processes. However, recent findings have revealed a novel function for global histone acetylation in direct regulation of cellular physiology. I will discuss how chromatin, by regulating the cellular flux of acetate, may integrate control of cellular physiologic state with gene expression and help explain the observations in cancer tissues.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acetates / metabolism*
  • Acetylation
  • Animals
  • Cell Physiological Phenomena*
  • Chromatin / genetics
  • Chromatin / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Histones / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Models, Biological


  • Acetates
  • Chromatin
  • Histones