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Biochimie. 2010 Jul;92(7):736-45. doi: 10.1016/j.biochi.2010.02.020. Epub 2010 Feb 23.

Molecular mechanisms involved in the adaptation to amino acid limitation in mammals.

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Unité de Nutrition Humaine, UMR 1019, INRA de Theix, 63122 Saint Genès Champanelle, France.


In mammals, metabolic adaptations are required to cope with episodes of protein deprivation and malnutrition. Consequently, mammals have to adjust physiological functions involved in the adaptation to amino acid availability. Part of this regulation involves the modulation of the expression of numerous genes. In particular, it has been shown that amino acids by themselves can modify the expression of target genes. This review describes the regulation of amino acids homeostasis and the their role as signal molecules. The recent advances in the understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in the control of mammalian gene expression in response to amino acid limitation will be described.

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