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J Biol Chem. 2010 Nov 19;285(47):36267-74. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.141606. Epub 2010 Sep 2.

Myc-dependent mitochondrial generation of acetyl-CoA contributes to fatty acid biosynthesis and histone acetylation during cell cycle entry.

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  • 1Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington 98109, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Biol Chem. 2011 Mar 11;286(10):8708.


Cell reprogramming from a quiescent to proliferative state requires coordinate activation of multiple -omic networks. These networks activate histones, increase cellular bioenergetics and the synthesis of macromolecules required for cell proliferation. However, mechanisms that coordinate the regulation of these interconnected networks are not fully understood. The oncogene c-Myc (Myc) activates cellular metabolism and global chromatin remodeling. Here we tested for an interconnection between Myc regulation of metabolism and acetylation of histones. Using [(13)C(6)]glucose and a combination of GC/MS and LC/ESI tandem mass spectrometry, we determined the fractional incorporation of (13)C-labeled 2-carbon fragments into the fatty acid palmitate, and acetyl-lysines at the N-terminal tail of histone H4 in myc(-/-) and myc(+/+) Rat1A fibroblasts. Our data demonstrate that Myc increases mitochondrial synthesis of acetyl-CoA, as the de novo synthesis of (13)C-labeled palmitate was increased 2-fold in Myc-expressing cells. Additionally, Myc induced a forty percent increase in (13)C-labeled acetyl-CoA on H4-K16. This is linked to the capacity of Myc to increase mitochondrial production of acetyl-CoA, as we show that mitochondria provide 50% of the acetyl groups on H4-K16. These data point to a key role for Myc in directing the interconnection of -omic networks, and in particular, epigenetic modification of proteins in response to proliferative signals.

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