Towards a road map of stem cell metabolism and epigenetics

Earlier this year I published work completed with Dr Vittorio Sartorelli at the National Institutes of Health, linking a change in metabolism to a change in identity in muscle stem cells (see Ryall et al. 2015 for details). Since that publication, several more studies have been published that further solidify the link between the metabolic status of stem cells to their epigenetic signature, particularly recent work by Craig Thompson’s group (see Carey et al. 2015) and Yaakov Nahmias’ group (see Moussaieff et al. 2015). Because of the exploding interest in metabolism and the epigenetic regulation of stem cells, Vittorio and I put together (with the help of Mr Tim Cliff and Prof Stephen Dalton) an extensive review on how metabolism, and specific metabolites, can directly influence gene expression in stem cells. As a change in environment often precedes a change in cell state, it is essential to investigate the metabolic status of cells when thinking about epigenetic changes and cell fate. With the increasing use of novel techniques such as the Seahorse XF bioanalyzer and metabolomics, I’m excited about the future of stem cell metabolism and being a part of the development of a “roadmap” of stem cell metabolism and epigenetics.Figure 3_new2

Refers to (free full text): Ryall JG, Cliff T, Dalton S & Sartorelli V (2015). Metabolic reprogramming of stem cell epigenetics. Cell Stem Cell 17, 651-662.