mechanisms. This allows metabolic flux to respond to nutrient availability much more rapidly than would be possible with mechanisms dependent on new protein synthesis.
There are numerous examples of specific nutrients' effects on gene expression. Some of these effects concern the transcription of genes that encode enzymes or receptors or carriers that are important to the use of that nutrient. Examples are listed in Table 1. Many nutrients serve more than one function with respect to gene expression. Some influence both transcription and translation, whereas others serve to enhance the transcription of one gene while suppressing the transcription of another. Nutrient-gene interactions can result in either an increase or a decrease in specific mRNA, but there may be no increase in gene product or a measurable increase in gene product function. This speaks to the complicated nature of metabolic control. Simply synthesizing more message units or more enzyme protein does not automatically result in an increase in enzyme activity, an increase in a metabolic pathway, or an increase in a metabolic product. The processes of gene expression and metabolic regulation comprise a complex web of interactions in which nutrients are major and diverse players.
See also: Carbohydrates: Regulation of Metabolism. Cholesterol: Factors Determining Blood Levels. Fatty Acids: Metabolism. Folic Acid. Iron. Nutrient-Gene Interactions: Health Implications. Vitamin A: Biochemistry and Physiological Role. Vitamin K. Zinc: Physiology.
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