Epigenetic modifications, including those on DNA and histones, have been shown to regulate cellular metabolism by controlling expression of enzymes involved in the corresponding metabolic pathways. In turn, metabolic flux influences epigenetic regulation by affecting the biosynthetic balance of enzyme cofactors or donors for certain chromatin modifications. Recently, non-enzymatic covalent modifications (NECMs) by chemically reactive metabolites have been reported to manipulate chromatin architecture and gene transcription through multiple mechanisms. Here, we summarize these recent advances in the identification and characterization of NECMs on nucleic acids, histones, and transcription factors, providing an additional mechanistic link between metabolism and epigenetics.
Vision formation is classically based on projections from retinal ganglion cells (RGC) to the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) and the primary visual cortex (V1). Neurons in the mouse V1 are tuned to light stimuli. Although the cellular information of the retina and the LGN has been widely studied, the transcriptome profiles of single light-stimulated neuron in V1 remain unknown. In our study, in vivo calcium imaging and whole-cell electrophysiological patch-clamp recording were utilized to identify 53 individual cells from layer 2/3 of V1 as lightsensitive (LS) or non-light-sensitive (NS) by single-cell light-evoked calcium evaluation and action potential spiking. The contents of each cell after functional tests were aspirated in vivo through a patch-clamp pipette for mRNA sequencing. Moreover, the three-dimensional (3-D) morphological characterizations of the neurons were reconstructed in a live mouse after the whole-cell recordings. Our sequencing results indicated that V1 neurons with a high expression of genes related to transmission regulation, such as Rtn4r and Rgs7, and genes involved in membrane transport, such as Na+/K+ ATPase and NMDA-type glutamatergic receptors, preferentially responded to light stimulation. Furthermore, an antagonist that blocks Rtn4r signals could inactivate the neuronal responses to light stimulation in live mice. In conclusion, our findings of the vivo-seq analysis indicate the key role of the strength of synaptic transmission possesses neurons in V1 of light sensory.