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Sensor potency of the moonlighting enzyme-decorated cytoskeleton: the cytoskeleton as a metabolic sensor

Vic Norris12*, Patrick Amar3, Guillaume Legent12, Camille Ripoll12, Michel Thellier12 and Judit Ovádi4

Author Affiliations

1 EA 3829, Faculté des Sciences de l’Université de Rouen, 76821, Mont Saint Aignan Cedex, France

2 DYCOEC, CNRS (GDR 2984), CORIA, Université de Rouen, Rouen, France

3 LRI, Univ. Paris Sud, CNRS, UMR 8623, & INRIA Saclay, F-91405, Orsay, Cedex, France

4 Institute of Enzymology, Research Center for Natural Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary

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BMC Biochemistry 2013, 14:3  doi:10.1186/1471-2091-14-3

Published: 11 February 2013



There is extensive evidence for the interaction of metabolic enzymes with the eukaryotic cytoskeleton. The significance of these interactions is far from clear.

Presentation of the hypothesis

In the cytoskeletal integrative sensor hypothesis presented here, the cytoskeleton senses and integrates the general metabolic activity of the cell. This activity depends on the binding to the cytoskeleton of enzymes and, depending on the nature of the enzyme, this binding may occur if the enzyme is either active or inactive but not both. This enzyme-binding is further proposed to stabilize microtubules and microfilaments and to alter rates of GTP and ATP hydrolysis and their levels.

Testing the hypothesis

Evidence consistent with the cytoskeletal integrative sensor hypothesis is presented in the case of glycolysis. Several testable predictions are made. There should be a relationship between post-translational modifications of tubulin and of actin and their interaction with metabolic enzymes. Different conditions of cytoskeletal dynamics and enzyme-cytoskeleton binding should reveal significant differences in local and perhaps global levels and ratios of ATP and GTP. The different functions of moonlighting enzymes should depend on cytoskeletal binding.

Implications of the hypothesis

The physical and chemical effects arising from metabolic sensing by the cytoskeleton would have major consequences on cell shape, dynamics and cell cycle progression. The hypothesis provides a framework that helps the significance of the enzyme-decorated cytoskeleton be determined.