Metabolism

Metabolism refers to the chemical reactions that occur within an organism to sustain life. The reactions are divided into two categories: catabolism (the breakdown of organic matter to produce energy); and anabolism (the construction of molecules from smaller units).

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  • News & Views |

    Two studies unmask the essentiality of methionine synthase activity in powering the folate cycle to replenish the tetrahydrofolate pool from 5-methyltetrahydrofolate; this generates nucleotides that support tumour growth. Dietary manipulation alters folate availability and holds implications for anti-cancer therapy response.

    • Zhengwei Wu
    •  & Wai Leong Tam
    Nature Metabolism 3, 1436-1438
  • News & Views |

    Genetic code expansion is emerging as a promising strategy to precisely regulate protein expression. A new study engineered cells that enabled noncanonical-amino-acid-triggered insulin expression to rapidly regulate blood glucose levels in a diabetic mouse model.

    • Jicheng Yu
    • , Yuqi Zhang
    •  & Zhen Gu
  • News & Views |

    Immune cells can promote the thermogenic phenotype of white adipocytes during cold exposure, in a process known as ‘browning’ or ‘beiging’. Wang et al. now reveal a potential mechanism whereby alternatively activated macrophages prompt adipose sympathetic nerve fibres to release norepinephrine and promote adipocyte beiging.

    • Michael P. Czech
    Nature Metabolism 3, 1441-1442
  • News & Views |

    Alterations to the extracellular matrix have long been associated with cancer progression and therapeutic resistance. Schwörer et al. describe a mechanism whereby fibroblasts reroute metabolites to fuel the demands of collagen synthesis, leading to cancer progression.

    • Zachary A. Bacigalupa
    •  & W. Kimryn Rathmell
    Nature Metabolism 3, 1439-1440