Epigenetic regulation by endogenous metabolite pharmacology

Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2019 Aug:51:30-39. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2019.02.002. Epub 2019 Mar 15.


Altered metabolite levels can drive epigenetic changes critical to development and disease. However, in many cases the specific protein-metabolite interactions that underlie this process remain enigmatic. In this review, we make the case that this fundamental missing information may be discovered by applying the tools of modern drug target validation to study endogenous metabolite pharmacology. We detail examples in which chemical proteomics has been applied to gain new insights into reversible and covalent metabolite signaling mechanisms, using acetyl-CoA and fumarate as case studies. Finally, we provide a brief survey of nascent chemical biology methods whose application to the study of endogenous metabolite pharmacology may further advance the field.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acetyl Coenzyme A / metabolism
  • Epigenesis, Genetic*
  • Fumarates / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / metabolism*
  • Proteomics
  • Signal Transduction


  • Fumarates
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Acetyl Coenzyme A