Dr. Hayashi’s paper has been published in EMBO Reports.

Nutritional and metabolic control of germ cell fate through O-GlcNAc regulation

Yohei Hayashi, Yukiko Tando, Yumi Ito-Matsuoka, Kaho Ikuta, Asuka Takehara, Katsutaro Morino, Hiroshi Maegawa, Yasuhisa Matsui

EMBO Reports (2023)e56845

Fate determination of primordial germ cells (PGCs) is regulated in a multi-layered manner, involving signaling pathways, epigenetic mechanisms, and transcriptional control. Chemical modification of macromolecules, including epigenetics, is expected to be closely related with metabolic mechanisms but the detailed molecular machinery linking these two layers remains poorly understood. Here, we show that the hexosamine biosynthetic pathway controls PGC fate determination via O-linked -N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) modification. Consistent with this model, reduction of carbohydrate metabolism via a maternal ketogenic diet that decreases O-GlcNAcylation levels causes repression of PGC formation in vivo. Moreover, maternal ketogenic diet intake until mid-gestation affects the number of ovarian germ cells in newborn pups. Taken together, we show that nutritional and metabolic mechanisms play a previously unappreciated role in PGC fate determination.


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