Epigenetics and metabolism converge with pheromone production

Science 11 January 2013: Vol. 339 no. 6116 pp. 148-150 DOI: 10.1126/science.1233423

  • Perspective [Subscription required]

When Metabolism and Epigenetics Converge by Paolo Sassone-Corsi

Excerpt: “Environmental inputs such as nutrition can modulate cell metabolism, and critical links between metabolism and epigenetic control—now widely thought to include chromatin remodeling, histone modifications, DNA methylation, and microRNA pathways (1)—are beginning to emerge (2, 3).”

Conclusion: “The presence of metabolite “niches” within specific chromatin subdomains has been proposed (2) and is conceptually intriguing when placed in parallel with the idea of nuclear subcompartments and transcription “hubs” (16). As connections between epigenetics and metabolism emerge, it may be possible to consider new pharmacological interventions for a variety of pathological conditions.”

My comment to the Science site: In my model, the bottom-up epigenetic effects of nutrient chemicals on intracellular signaling and stochastic gene expression are controlled by the metabolism of the nutrient chemicals to pheromones that epigenetically effect intracellular signaling and stochastic gene expression from the top down.  Simply put, the microRNA / messenger RNA balance that is required for homeostasis and epistasis is nutrient chemical-dependent and pheromone-controlled by environmental effects on gene expression, which lead to genetically predisposed behaviors and back to gene expression via sensory input (e.g., food or pheromones). Since adaptive evolution is obviously a function of nutrient chemical-dependent pheromone-controlled reproduction in species from microbes to man, it is somewhat surprising that the epigenetic effects of pheromones on intracellular signaling and stochastic gene expression have been virtually ignored beyond their contribution to quorum sensing in microbes.

Indeed, Richard Doty went so far as to publish a 2010 book that argued against the obvious fact that mammalian pheromones exist. Shall we attribute to him the inability to see that metabolism and epigenetics converge with food odors and the metabolism of nutrient chemicals to pheromones that act on precisely the same molecular mechanisms of adaptive evolution found in species from microbes to man? And if not for him and other human pheromone-deniers, does the bell toll for me?



Author: James Kohl

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *