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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2012 Oct 15;362(1-2):1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2012.05.011. Epub 2012 Jun 6.

Protein acetylation mechanisms in the regulation of insulin and insulin-like growth factor 1 signalling.

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  • 1Carmen (Cardiology, Metabolism and Nutrition) Institute, INSERM U1060, Lyon-1 University, South Lyon Medical Faculty, 69921 Oullins, France. luciano.pirola@univ-lyon1.fr


Lysine acetylation is a protein post-translational modification (PTM) initially discovered in abundant proteins such as tubulin, whose acetylated form confers microtubule stability, and histones, where it promotes the transcriptionally active chromatin state. Other individual reports identified lysine acetylation as a PTM regulating transcription factors and co-activators including p53, c-Myc, PGC1α and Ku70. The subsequent employment of proteomics-based approaches revealed that lysine acetylation is a widespread PTM, contributing to cellular regulation as much as protein-phosphorylation based mechanisms. In particular, most of the enzymes of central metabolic processes - glycolysis, tricarboxylic acid and urea cycles, fatty acid and glycogen metabolism - have been shown to be regulated by lysine acetylation, through the opposite actions of protein acetyltransferases and deacetylases, making protein acetylation a PTM that connects the cell's energetic state and its consequent metabolic response. In multicellular organisms, insulin/insulin-like signalling (IIS) is a major hormonal regulator of metabolism and cell growth, and very recent research indicates that most of the enzymes participating in IIS are likewise subjected to acetylation-based regulatory mechanisms, that integrate the classical phosphorylation mechanisms. Here, we review the current knowledge on acetylation/deacetylation regulatory phenomena within the IIS cascade, with emphasis on the enzymatic machinery linking the acetylation/deacetylation switch to the metabolic state. We cover this recent area of investigation because pharmacological modulation of protein acetylation/deacetylation has been shown to be a promising target for the amelioration of the metabolic abnormalities occurring in the metabolic syndrome.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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