You are what you eat – How nutrition and metabolism shape the genome through epigenetics


Till Bartke, Robert Schneider

MOLECULAR METABOLISM, 2020, Volume 38, 100987

One of the hallmarks of all living beings is their ability to extract energy from their surroundings and use it in a process termed metabolism to grow and reproduce. During evolution, life had to "learn" how to cope with changing environments and exploit even limited and unstable sources of energy. The ability to take up and process energy from diverse sources and adjust their metabolism according to the availability of nutrients is therefore fundamentally engrained in the nature of all living things. This holds true for single-celled microorganisms that need to survive in competitive environments as well as for multicellular organisms such as plants and animals whose cells need to function within the context of tissues. With increasing complexity organisms have evolved more and more intricate networks of enzymes and cofactors that interconvert metabolites in order to satisfy their need for energy and to provide chemical building blocks.