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Tzika, Evangelia; Dreker, Tobias; Imhof, Axel (2018): Epigenetics and Metabolism in Health and Disease. In: Frontiers in Genetics, Vol. 9, 361


In the next 10 years, one billion people are estimated to suffer from disabling consequences of metabolic disorders, making them the number one noncommunicable disease on a global scale by 2030. Lots of risk factors such as dietary intake, lack of exercise and other life style behaviors are considered to play a role in the development of metabolic disorders. Despite the efforts that have been undertaken to unravel their potential causes, the underlying molecular mechanisms remain elusive. Evidence suggests that the pathogenesis involves changes on chromatin and chromatin-modifying enzymes, which can contribute to a persistent dysregulated metabolic phenotype. Indeed, a rising number of studies links epigenetic alterations with the diagnosis and prognosis of metabolic disorders. A prerequisite for exploiting these findings for pharmacological intervention is a detailed understanding of how differential epigenetic modifications control cell metabolism. In this mini review, we summarize the recent advances in uncovering the interplay between epigenetics and metabolic pathways on a cellular level and highlight potential new avenues for alternative treatment strategies.