OCT 16, 2013 07:00 AM PDT

Metabolic reprogramming: links to the epigenome

108 44 2680

  • Assistant Professor, Assistant Investigator, Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, University of Pennsylvania Medicine
      Dr. Kathryn Wellen received a PhD from Harvard University in 2006 and performed postdoctoral work at the University of Pennsylvania from 2006-2011. In 2011 she joined the Department of Cancer Biology at the University of Pennsylvania as an Assistant Professor. She is a 2012 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences and is a recipient of a 2012 Forbeck Scholar Award. Her laboratory's research focuses on elucidating links between cellular metabolism and signaling, with a current emphasis on metabolic regulation of the epigenome.


    Cancer cells are characterized by major alterations in both cellular metabolism and epigenetic profiles. Current understanding of links between metabolism and chromatin in the context of cancer is currently very limited. We have previously demonstrated that acetylation of histones is sensitive to glucose availability through the enzyme ATP-citrate lyase (ACL), which produces acetyl-CoA from citrate. While this is likely to impact gene expression and other chromatin-dependent processes, the molecular mechanisms and functional significance of metabolic regulation of lysine acetylation are poorly understood. In this presentation, I will focus on current efforts to elucidate how metabolic signals are conveyed to chromatin. I will also discuss recent findings demonstrating a novel link between ACL and another chromatin-modifying enzyme, DNA methyltransferase 1, during adipocyte differentiation. Learning Objectives: Understand how changes in cellular metabolism impact chromatin modifications such as histone acetylation. Learn about the role of ATP-citrate lyase in regulating gene expression and epigenetics during adipocyte differentiation.

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