Genes influenced by food; epigenetic switches tun genes and off.

geneA new study, published in the journal Nature Microbiology, has revealed how may influence the food that is consumed. influence metabolism, but nutrients may also influence by being available to cells.

“Cellular metabolism plays a far more dynamic role in the cells than we previously thought,” said Dr, Markus Ralser at the University of Cambridge and the Francis Crick Institute, London Ralser.

“Nearly all of a cell’s are influenced by changes to the nutrients they have access to. In fact, in many cases the effects were so strong, that changing a cell’s metabolic profile could make some of its behave in a completely different manner.

“The classical view is that control how nutrients are broken down into important , but we’ve shown that the opposite is true, too: how the nutrients break down affects how our behave.”

The researchers used a yeast model to examine the activity of and metabolism related to nutrients. can be regulated by other or regions of DNA or by epigenetic modifiers acting like switches turning on and off.

The different levels of metabolites were manipulated in yeast cells. An investigation was conducted as to how this impacted on the behavior of and they produced. Almost nine out of ten and their products were affected by changes in cellular metabolism.


Alam, MT et al. The metabolic background is a global player in Saccharomyces expression epistasis. Nature Microbiology; 1 Feb. DOI: 10.1038/nmicrobiol.2015.30

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