Metabolic-Epigenetic Axis in Pluripotent State Transitions

Epigenomes. 2019 Jul 31;3(3):13. doi: 10.3390/epigenomes3030013.


Cell state transition (CST) occurs during embryo development and in adult life in response to different stimuli and is associated with extensive epigenetic remodeling. Beyond growth factors and signaling pathways, increasing evidence point to a crucial role of metabolic signals in this process. Indeed, since several epigenetic enzymes are sensitive to availability of specific metabolites, fluctuations in their levels may induce the epigenetic changes associated with CST. Here we analyze how fluctuations in metabolites availability influence DNA/chromatin modifications associated with pluripotent stem cell (PSC) transitions. We discuss current studies and focus on the effects of metabolites in the context of naïve to primed transition, PSC differentiation and reprogramming of somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), analyzing their mechanism of action and the causal correlation between metabolites availability and epigenetic alteration.

Keywords: DNA and histone methylation; histone acetylation; metabolites availability; pluripotent stem cell transitions.

Publication types

  • Review