Metabolic Enzymes Enjoying New Partnerships as RNA-Binding Proteins

In the past century, few areas of biology advanced as much as our understanding of the pathways of intermediary metabolism. Initially considered unimportant in terms of gene regulation, crucial cellular fate changes, cell differentiation, or malignant transformation are now known to involve ‘metabolic remodeling’ with profound changes in the expression of many metabolic enzyme genes. This review focuses on the recent identification of RNA-binding activity of numerous metabolic enzymes. We discuss possible roles of this unexpected second activity in feedback gene regulation (‘moonlighting’) and/or in the control of enzymatic function. We also consider how metabolism-driven post-translational modifications could regulate enzyme-RNA interactions. Thus, RNA emerges as a new partner of metabolic enzymes with far-reaching possible consequences to be unraveled in the future.