Role of Histone Acetylation and Methylation in Obesity

Lu Xu, Martin Ho Yin Yeung, Mabel Yin Chun Yau, Pauline Po Yee Lui, Chi Ming Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose of Review: This review gives an overview of the roles of histone acetylation and methylation in obesity and related metabolic diseases. Recent Findings: Nutrition can change gene expression via epigenetics such as DNA methylation and post-translational modifications of histones. A growing number of both experimental and clinical studies suggested that histone modifications are very sensitive to changes in nutritional availability and potentially impact the development and progression of metabolic disorders. Recent advances in proteomic studies provided evidence linking histone modifications to over-nutrition and metabolic dysregulation. In this review, we will summarize the recent findings on two classical histone modifications, i.e., acetylation and methylation and the related findings from clinical studies and potential applications. Summary: The involvement of histone modifications in the progression of metabolic diseases is now widely appreciated. Over the recent years, mass spectrometry-based proteomics approaches discovered and mapped different kind of histone modifications linking obesity and metabolic diseases. The list of these modifications is evergrowing; however, their functions and roles in obesity are not well understood. Same as for the most well studied histone modifications, namely acetylation and methylation. Although much has been learnt from these two modifications, their contributions in regulation of metabolism are still largely unknown. It will be necessary to carry out more studies to further dissect the importance of the availability of substrates and activities of the enzymes for histone acetylation and methylation in the metabolic tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-203
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Pharmacology Reports
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2019


  • Acetyl-CoA
  • Acetylation
  • Diabetes
  • Histone modifications
  • Methylation
  • Obesity
  • S-Adenosylmethionine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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