Extracting meaningful information from complex spectroscopic data of metabolite mixtures is an area of active research in the emerging field of "metabolomics", which combines metabolism, spectroscopy, and multivariate statistical analysis (pattern recognition) methods. Chemometric analysis and comparison of 1H NMR1 spectra is commonly hampered by intersample peak position and line width variation due to matrix effects (pH, ionic strength, etc.). Here a novel method for mixture analysis is presented, defined as "targeted profiling". Individual NMR resonances of interest are mathematically modeled from pure compound spectra. This database is then interrogated to identify and quantify metabolites in complex spectra of mixtures, such as biofluids. The technique is validated against a traditional "spectral binning" analysis on the basis of sensitivity to water suppression (presaturation, NOESY-presaturation, WET, and CPMG), relaxation effects, and NMR spectral acquisition times (3, 4, 5, and 6 s/scan) using PCA pattern recognition analysis. In addition, a quantitative validation is performed against various metabolites at physiological concentrations (9 microM-8 mM). "Targeted profiling" is highly stable in PCA-based pattern recognition, insensitive to water suppression, relaxation times (within the ranges examined), and scaling factors; hence, direct comparison of data acquired under varying conditions is made possible. In particular, analysis of metabolites at low concentration and overlapping regions are well suited to this analysis. We discuss how targeted profiling can be applied for mixture analysis and examine the effect of various acquisition parameters on the accuracy of quantification.
Epidemiological and experimental data implicate branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) in the development of insulin resistance, but the mechanisms underlying this link remain unclear.1–3 Insulin resistance in skeletal muscle stems from excess accumulation of lipid species4, a process that requires blood-borne lipids to first traverse the blood vessel wall. Little is known, however, of how this trans-endothelial transport occurs or is regulated. Here, we leverage PGC-1α, a transcriptional coactivator that regulates broad programs of FA consumption, to identify 3-hydroxy-isobutyrate (3-HIB), a catabolic intermediate of the BCAA valine, as a novel paracrine regulator of trans-endothelial fatty acids (FA) transport. 3-HIB is secreted from muscle cells, activates endothelial FA transport, stimulates muscle FA uptake in vivo, and promotes muscle lipid accumulation and insulin resistance in animals. Conversely, inhibiting the synthesis of 3-HIB in muscle cells blocks the promotion of endothelial FA uptake. 3-HIB levels are elevated in muscle from db/db mice and from subjects with diabetes. These data thus unveil a novel mechanism that regulates trans-endothelial flux of FAs, revealing 3-HIB as a new bioactive signaling metabolite that links the regulation of FA flux to BCAA catabolism and provides a mechanistic explanation for how increased BCAA catabolic flux can cause diabetes.
Metabolomics may have the capacity to revolutionize disease diagnosis through the identification of scores of metabolites that vary during environmental, pathogenic, or toxicological insult. NMR spectroscopy has become one of the main tools for measuring these changes since an NMR spectrum can accurately identify metabolites and their concentrations. The predominant approach in analyzing NMR data has been through the technique of spectral binning. However, identification of spectral areas in an NMR spectrum is insufficient for diagnostic evaluation, since it is unknown whether areas of interest are strictly caused by metabolic changes or are simply artifacts. In this paper, we explore differences in gender, diurnal variation, and age in a human population. We use the example of gender differences to compare traditional spectral binning techniques (NMR spectral areas) to novel targeted profiling techniques (metabolites and their concentrations). We show that targeted profiling produces robust models, generates accurate metabolite concentration data, and provides data that can be used to help understand metabolic differences in a healthy population. Metabolites relating to mitochondrial energy metabolism were found to differentiate gender and age. Dietary components and some metabolites related to circadian rhythms were found to differentiate time of day urine collection. The mechanisms by which these differences arise will be key to the discovery of new diagnostic tests and new understandings of the mechanism of disease.
SUMMARY Mechanisms of metabolic flexibility enable cells to survive under stressful conditions and can thwart therapeutic responses. Acetyl-CoA plays central roles in energy production, lipid metabolism, and epigenomic modifications. Here we show that upon genetic deletion of Acly, the gene coding for ATP-citrate lyase (ACLY), cells remain viable and proliferate, although at an impaired rate. In the absence of ACLY, cells upregulate ACSS2 and utilize exogenous acetate to provide acetyl-CoA for de novo lipogenesis (DNL) and histone acetylation. A physiological level of acetate is sufficient for cell viability and abundant acetyl-CoA production, although histone acetylation levels remain low in ACLY-deficient cells unless supplemented with high levels of acetate. ACLY-deficient adipocytes accumulate lipid in vivo, exhibit increased acetyl-CoA and malonyl-CoA production from acetate, and display some differences in fatty acid content and synthesis. Together, these data indicate that engagement of acetate metabolism is a crucial, although partial, mechanism of compensation for ACLY deficiency.
Objective The consumption of an agrarian diet is associated with a reduced risk for many diseases associated with a ‘Westernised’ lifestyle. Studies suggest that diet affects the gut microbiota, which subsequently influences the metabolome, thereby connecting diet, microbiota and health. However, the degree to which diet influences the composition of the gut microbiota is controversial. Murine models and studies comparing the gut microbiota in humans residing in agrarian versus Western societies suggest that the influence is large. To separate global environmental influences from dietary influences, we characterised the gut microbiota and the host metabolome of individuals consuming an agrarian diet in Western society. Design and results Using 16S rRNA-tagged sequencing as well as plasma and urinary metabolomic platforms, we compared measures of dietary intake, gut microbiota composition and the plasma metabolome between healthy human vegans and omnivores, sampled in an urban USA environment. Plasma metabolome of vegans differed markedly from omnivores but the gut microbiota was surprisingly similar. Unlike prior studies of individuals living in agrarian societies, higher consumption of fermentable substrate in vegans was not associated with higher levels of faecal short chain fatty acids, a finding confirmed in a 10-day controlled feeding experiment. Similarly, the proportion of vegans capable of producing equol, a soy-based gut microbiota metabolite, was less than that was reported in Asian societies despite the high consumption of soy-based products. Conclusions Evidently, residence in globally distinct societies helps determine the composition of the gut microbiota that, in turn, influences the production of diet-dependent gut microbial metabolites.
Summary The MYC oncogene encodes MYC, a transcription factor that binds the genome through sites termed E-boxes (5′-CACGTG-3′), which are identical to the binding sites of the heterodimeric CLOCK-BMAL1 master circadian transcription factor. Hence, we hypothesized that ectopic MYC expression perturbs the clock by deregulating E-box-driven components of the circadian network in cancer cells. We report here that deregulated expression of MYC or N-MYC disrupts the molecular clock in vitro by directly inducing REV-ERBα to dampen expression and oscillation of BMAL1, and this could be rescued by knockdown of REV-ERB. REV-ERBα expression predicts poor clinical outcome for N-MYC-driven human neuroblastomas that have diminished BMAL1 expression, and reexpression of ectopic BMAL1 in neuroblastoma cell lines suppresses their clonogenicity. Further, ectopic MYC profoundly alters oscillation of glucose metabolism and perturbs glutaminolysis. Our results demonstrate an unsuspected link between oncogenic transformation and circadian and metabolic dysrhythmia, which we surmise to be advantageous for cancer.
SUMMARY While maintaining the integrity of the genome and sustaining bioenergetics are both fundamental functions of the cell, potential crosstalk between metabolic and DNA repair pathways is poorly understood. Since histone acetylation plays important roles in DNA repair and is sensitive to the availability of acetyl-CoA, we investigated a role for metabolic regulation of histone acetylation during the DNA damage response. In this study, we report that nuclear ATP-citrate lyase (ACLY) is phosphorylated at S455 downstream of ATM and AKT following DNA damage. ACLY facilitates histone acetylation at double strand break (DSB) sites, impairing 53BP1 localization and enabling BRCA1 recruitment and DNA repair by homologous recombination. ACLY phosphorylation and nuclear localization are necessary for its role in promoting BRCA1 recruitment. Upon PARP inhibition, ACLY silencing promotes genomic instability and cell death. Thus, the spatial and temporal control of acetyl-CoA production by ACLY participates in the mechanism of DNA repair pathway choice.
Candida albicans is frequently detected with heavy infection of Streptococcus mutans in plaque-biofilms from children affected with early-childhood caries, a prevalent and costly oral disease. The presence of C. albicans enhances S. mutans growth within biofilms, yet the chemical interactions associated with bacterial accumulation remain unclear. Thus, this study was conducted to investigate how microbial products from this cross-kingdom association modulate S. mutans build-up in biofilms. Our data revealed that bacterial-fungal derived conditioned medium (BF-CM) significantly increased the growth of S. mutans and altered biofilm 3D-architecture in a dose-dependent manner, resulting in enlarged and densely packed bacterial cell-clusters (microcolonies). Intriguingly, BF-CM induced S. mutans gtfBC expression (responsible for Gtf exoenzymes production), enhancing Gtf activity essential for microcolony development. Using a recently developed nanoculture system, the data demonstrated simultaneous microcolony growth and gtfB activation in situ by BF-CM. Further metabolites/chromatographic analyses of BF-CM revealed elevated amounts of formate and the presence of Candida-derived farnesol, which is commonly known to exhibit antibacterial activity. Unexpectedly, at the levels detected (25–50 μM), farnesol enhanced S. mutans-biofilm cell growth, microcolony development, and Gtf activity akin to BF-CM bioactivity. Altogether, the data provide new insights on how extracellular microbial products from cross-kingdom interactions stimulate the accumulation of a bacterial pathogen within biofilms.
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