A Low Vitamin B12 Induced Transcriptional Mechanism That Regulates Metabolic Activity of the Methionine/S-Adenosylmethionine Cycle in Caenorhabditis elegans
AuthorsGiese, Gabrielle E.
Faculty AdvisorMarian Walhout
Academic ProgramInterdisciplinary Graduate Program
UMass Chan AffiliationsBasic and Biomedical Sciences
Document TypeDoctoral Dissertation
Gene Regulatory Networks
Nuclear Hormone Receptors
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractCells must regulate their metabolism in order to grow, adapt to changes in nutrient availability and maintain homeostasis. Flux, or the turnover of metabolites, through the metabolic network can be regulated at the allosteric and transcriptional levels. While study of allosteric regulation is limited to biochemical examination of individual proteins, transcriptional control of metabolism can be explored at a systems level. We endeavored to elucidate transcriptional mechanisms of metabolic flux regulation in the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). We also worked to create a visual tool to explore metabolic pathways that will support future efforts in the research of metabolic gene regulation. C. elegans is a small, free-living nematode that feeds on bacteria and experiences a high level of diversity in nutrient level and composition. Previously, we identified a mechanism by which the essential cofactor, vitamin B12, regulates the expression of genes involved in the degradation of propionate, referred to as B12‑mechanism‑I. This mechanism functions to prevent the toxic accumulation of propionate and requires the TFs NHR-10 and NHR-68. Using genetic screens as well as transcriptomic and metabolomic approaches, we discover a second mechanism by which vitamin B12 regulates metabolic gene expression: B12-mechanism-II. Unlike B12-mechanism-I, B12-mechanism-II is independent of propionate, requires the transcription factor NHR-114 and functions to maintain the metabolic activity of the Methionine/S-adenosylmethionine cycle in a tightly regulated regime. We also present WormPaths, an online resource that allows visualization of C. elegans metabolic pathways and enables metabolic pathway enrichment of user-uploaded transcriptomic data.
Permanent Link to this Itemhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.14038/31378
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