Recognition of Histone Crotonylation by Taf14 Links Metabolic State to Gene Expression

Graeme J. Gowans, Joseph B. Bridgers, Jibo Zhang, Raghuvar Dronamraju, Anthony Burnetti, Devin A. King, Aline V. Thiengmany, Stephen A. Shinsky, Natarajan V. Bhanu, Benjamin A. Garcia, Nicolas E. Buchler, Brian D. Strahl, Ashby J. Morrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Metabolic signaling to chromatin often underlies how adaptive transcriptional responses are controlled. While intermediary metabolites serve as co-factors for histone-modifying enzymes during metabolic flux, how these modifications contribute to transcriptional responses is poorly understood. Here, we utilize the highly synchronized yeast metabolic cycle (YMC) and find that fatty acid β-oxidation genes are periodically expressed coincident with the β-oxidation byproduct histone crotonylation. Specifically, we found that H3K9 crotonylation peaks when H3K9 acetylation declines and energy resources become limited. During this metabolic state, pro-growth gene expression is dampened; however, mutation of the Taf14 YEATS domain, a H3K9 crotonylation reader, results in de-repression of these genes. Conversely, exogenous addition of crotonic acid results in increased histone crotonylation, constitutive repression of pro-growth genes, and disrupted YMC oscillations. Together, our findings expose an unexpected link between metabolic flux and transcription and demonstrate that histone crotonylation and Taf14 participate in the repression of energy-demanding gene expression. Adaptive responses during environmental nutrient fluctuations are critical for survival. For example, during nutrient limitation, energy-demanding cell growth programs need to be tempered. Gowans et al. report that histone crotonylation, produced by fatty acid β-oxidation, is important for reduction of growth gene expression and promotion of metabolic homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)909-921.e3
JournalMolecular cell
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 19 2019


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