Riboregulation of Enolase 1 activity controls glycolysis and embryonic stem cell differentiation

Mol Cell. 2022 Jul 21;82(14):2666-2680.e11. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2022.05.019. Epub 2022 Jun 15.


Differentiating stem cells must coordinate their metabolism and fate trajectories. Here, we report that the catalytic activity of the glycolytic enzyme Enolase 1 (ENO1) is directly regulated by RNAs leading to metabolic rewiring in mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs). We identify RNA ligands that specifically inhibit ENO1's enzymatic activity in vitro and diminish glycolysis in cultured human cells and mESCs. Pharmacological inhibition or RNAi-mediated depletion of the protein deacetylase SIRT2 increases ENO1's acetylation and enhances its RNA binding. Similarly, induction of mESC differentiation leads to increased ENO1 acetylation, enhanced RNA binding, and inhibition of glycolysis. Stem cells expressing mutant forms of ENO1 that escape or hyper-activate this regulation display impaired germ layer differentiation. Our findings uncover acetylation-driven riboregulation of ENO1 as a physiological mechanism of glycolytic control and of the regulation of stem cell differentiation. Riboregulation may represent a more widespread principle of biological control.

Keywords: Enolase 1; RNA-binding proteins; RNA-protein interactions; acetylation; cancer; embryonic stem cell differentiation; glycolysis; metabolism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Glycolysis* / physiology
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Phosphopyruvate Hydratase* / genetics
  • Phosphopyruvate Hydratase* / metabolism
  • RNA / metabolism


  • RNA
  • Phosphopyruvate Hydratase