To maintain homeostasis under variable nutrient conditions, cells rapidly and robustly respond to fluctuations through adaptable signaling networks. Evidence suggests that the linked acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) posttranslational modification of serine and threonine residues functions as a critical regulator of intracellular signaling cascades in response to nutrient changes. GlcNAc is a highly regulated, reversible modification poised to integrate metabolic signals and acts to influence many cellular processes, including cellular signaling, protein stability, and transcription. This review describes the role GlcNAc plays in governing both integrated cellular processes and the activity of individual proteins in response to nutrient levels. Moreover, we discuss the ways in which cellular changes in GlcNAc status may be linked to chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, neurodegeneration, and cancers, providing a unique window through which to identify and treat disease conditions.

[Erratum, Closure]

An erratum has been published for this article:
GlcNAc Cycling: A Link Between Metabolism and Chronic Disease

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  • Article Type: Review Article
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