Concise Review: Energy Metabolites: Key Mediators of the Epigenetic State of Pluripotency

Arieh Moussaieff*, Natalya M. Kogan, Daniel Aberdam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Recent studies suggest that the metabolic network is an important part of the molecular circuitry that underlies pluripotency. Of the metabolic pathways that were implicated in the pluripotency balance, "energy" metabolism is particularly notable. Its mechanism of action on pluripotency-regulating genes has been partially elucidated when three metabolites, namely acetate, S-adenosylmethionine, and O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine were recently shown to link cytosolic signals to pluripotent gene expression. The cytosolic levels of these metabolites are the result of environmental perturbations, making them sensitive messengers, which are assumed to diffuse through the nuclear pores, being small molecules. Recent work also suggests that the modulation of the levels of these metabolites in pluripotent cells controls the balance between pluripotency and early commitment via epigenetic modifications. Here, we review recent studies that link metabolism and pluripotency via epigenetic modifications that occur through these three metabolites.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2374-2380
Number of pages7
JournalStem Cells
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 AlphaMed Press.


  • Acethyl-CoA
  • Embryonic stem cells
  • Epigenetics
  • Histone acetylation
  • Metabolism
  • Pluripotent stem cells


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