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Meeting Summary

To maintain homeostasis, cells need to coordinate gene expression and metabolic state. There is increasing evidence that misregulation of metabolic flux and gene transcription plays a major role in human diseases, including obesity, diabetes and cancer. The aim of this meeting is to explore how metabolic state influences gene expression programs and, conversely, how intermediary metabolism is controlled by the transcription machinery and chromatin-modulating enzymes. Particular emphasis will be on the connection between gene transcription and metabolism in homeostatic and diseased state. Emerging evidence emphasizes that chromatin-modifying enzymes depend on substrates, or co-factors, that are key components of intermediary metabolism. The cellular concentration of these metabolites fluctuates in response to, for example, nutrient availability, circadian cycles or oncogenic transformation. Thus, chromatin might be considered a sensor of metabolic state. Moreover, some metabolic enzymes play surprisingly direct roles in transcription control. Conversely, transcriptional control of metabolic enzyme expression, for example by nuclear receptors or the oncogene Myc, plays a major role in maintaining homeostasis, circadian rhythm or driving cell growth and proliferation. The aim of this Keystone Symposia meeting is to bring together scientists working on basic aspects of transcription control, epigenetics, metabolic disease and cancer. The meeting should serve as a discussion platform to explore the rapidly growing interphase between transcription regulation, metabolic reprogramming and human disease.