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OBJECTIVE - The loss of liver glycine N-methyltransferase (GNMT) promotes liver steatosis and the transition to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Previous work showed endogenous glucose production is reduced in GNMT-null mice with gluconeogenic precursors being used in alternative biosynthetic pathways that utilize methyl donors and are linked to tumorigenesis. This metabolic programming occurs before the appearance of HCC in GNMT-null mice. The metabolic physiology that sustains liver tumor formation in GNMT-null mice is unknown. The studies presented here tested the hypothesis that nutrient flux pivots from glucose production to pathways that incorporate and metabolize methyl groups in GNMT-null mice with HCC.
METHODS - H/C metabolic flux analysis was performed in conscious, unrestrained mice lacking GNMT to quantify glucose formation and associated nutrient fluxes. Molecular analyses of livers from mice lacking GNMT including metabolomic, immunoblotting, and immunochemistry were completed to fully interpret the nutrient fluxes.
RESULTS - GNMT knockout (KO) mice showed lower blood glucose that was accompanied by a reduction in liver glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis. NAD was lower and the NAD(P)H-to-NAD(P) ratio was higher in livers of KO mice. Indices of NAD synthesis and catabolism, pentose phosphate pathway flux, and glutathione synthesis were dysregulated in KO mice.
CONCLUSION - Glucose precursor flux away from glucose formation towards pathways that regulate redox status increase in the liver. Moreover, synthesis and scavenging of NAD are both impaired resulting in reduced concentrations. This metabolic program blunts an increase in methyl donor availability, however, biosynthetic pathways underlying HCC are activated.
Copyright © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier GmbH.. All rights reserved.
TGF-β signals through a receptor complex composed of 2 type I and 2 type II (TGF-βRII) subunits. We investigated the role of macrophage TGF-β signaling in fibrosis after AKI in mice with selective monocyte/macrophage TGF-βRII deletion (macrophage TGF-βRII-/- mice). Four weeks after injury, renal TGF-β1 expression and fibrosis were higher in WT mice than macrophage TGF-βRII-/- mice, which had decreased renal macrophages. The in vitro chemotactic response to f-Met-Leu-Phe was comparable between bone marrow-derived monocytes (BMMs) from WT and macrophage TGF-βRII-/- mice, but TGF-βRII-/- BMMs did not respond to TGF-β. We then implanted Matrigel plugs suffused with either f-Met-Leu-Phe or TGF-β1 into WT or macrophage TGF-βRII-/- mice. After 6 days, f-Met-Leu-Phe induced similar macrophage infiltration into the Matrigel plugs of WT and macrophage TGF-βRII-/- mice, but TGF-β induced infiltration only in WT mice. We further determined the number of labeled WT or TGF-βRII-/- BMMs infiltrating into WT kidneys 20 days after ischemic injury. There were more labeled WT BMMs than TGF-βRII-/- BMMs. Therefore, macrophage TGF-βRII deletion protects against the development of tubulointerstitial fibrosis following severe ischemic renal injury. Chemoattraction of macrophages to the injured kidney through a TGF-β/TGF-βRII axis is a heretofore undescribed mechanism by which TGF-β can mediate renal fibrosis during progressive renal injury.
Glycine -methyltransferase (GNMT) is the most abundant liver methyltransferase regulating the availability of the biological methyl donor, -adenosylmethionine (SAM). Moreover, GNMT has been identified to be down-regulated in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Despite its role in regulating SAM levels and association of its down-regulation with liver tumorigenesis, the impact of reduced GNMT on metabolic reprogramming before the manifestation of HCC has not been investigated in detail. Herein, we used H/C metabolic flux analysis in conscious, unrestrained mice to test the hypothesis that the absence of GNMT causes metabolic reprogramming. GNMT-null (KO) mice displayed a reduction in blood glucose that was associated with a decline in both hepatic glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis. The reduced gluconeogenesis was due to a decrease in liver gluconeogenic precursors, citric acid cycle fluxes, and anaplerosis and cataplerosis. A concurrent elevation in both hepatic SAM and metabolites of SAM utilization pathways was observed in the KO mice. Specifically, the increase in metabolites of SAM utilization pathways indicated that hepatic polyamine synthesis and catabolism, transsulfuration, and lipogenesis pathways were increased in the KO mice. Of note, these pathways utilize substrates that could otherwise be used for gluconeogenesis. Also, this metabolic reprogramming occurs before the well-documented appearance of HCC in GNMT-null mice. Together, these results indicate that GNMT deletion promotes a metabolic shift whereby nutrients are channeled away from glucose formation toward pathways that utilize the elevated SAM.
© 2018 Hughey et al.
Background - Circulating concentrations of B vitamins and factors related to one-carbon metabolism have been found to be strongly inversely associated with lung cancer risk in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. The extent to which these associations are present in other study populations is unknown.
Methods - Within 20 prospective cohorts from the National Cancer Institute Cohort Consortium, a nested case-control study was designed including 5364 incident lung cancer case patients and 5364 control subjects who were individually matched to case patients by age, sex, cohort, and smoking status. Centralized biochemical analyses were performed to measure circulating concentrations of vitamin B6, folate, and methionine, as well as cotinine as an indicator of recent tobacco exposure. The association between these biomarkers and lung cancer risk was evaluated using conditional logistic regression models.
Results - Participants with higher circulating concentrations of vitamin B6 and folate had a modestly decreased risk of lung cancer risk overall, the odds ratios when comparing the top and bottom fourths (OR 4vs1 ) being 0.88 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.78 to 1.00) and 0.86 (95% CI = 0.74 to 0.99), respectively. We found stronger associations among men (vitamin B6: OR 4vs1 = 0.74, 95% CI = 0.62 to 0.89; folate: OR 4vs1 = 0.75, 95% CI = 0.61 to 0.93) and ever smokers (vitamin B6: OR 4vs1 = 0.78, 95% CI = 0.67 to 0.91; folate: OR 4vs1 = 0.87, 95% CI = 0.73 to 1.03). We further noted that the association of folate was restricted to Europe/Australia and Asia, whereas no clear association was observed for the United States. Circulating concentrations of methionine were not associated with lung cancer risk overall or in important subgroups.
Conclusions - Although confounding by tobacco exposure or reverse causation cannot be ruled out, these study results are compatible with a small decrease in lung cancer risk in ever smokers who avoid low concentrations of circulating folate and vitamin B6.
© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A broad range of redox-regulated proteins undergo reversible disulfide bond formation on oxidation-prone cysteine residues. Heightened reactivity of the thiol groups in these cysteines also increases susceptibility to modification by organic electrophiles, a property that can be exploited in the study of redox networks. Here, we explored whether divinyl sulfone (DVSF), a thiol-reactive bifunctional electrophile, cross-links oxidant-sensitive proteins to their putative redox partners in cells. To test this idea, previously identified oxidant targets involved in oxidant defense (namely, peroxiredoxins, methionine sulfoxide reductases, sulfiredoxin, and glutathione peroxidases), metabolism, and proteostasis were monitored for cross-link formation following treatment of Saccharomyces cerevisiae with DVSF. Several proteins screened, including multiple oxidant defense proteins, underwent intermolecular and/or intramolecular cross-linking in response to DVSF. Specific redox-active cysteines within a subset of DVSF targets were found to influence cross-linking; in addition, DVSF-mediated cross-linking of its targets was impaired in cells first exposed to oxidants. Since cross-linking appeared to involve redox-active cysteines in these proteins, we examined whether potential redox partners became cross-linked to them upon DVSF treatment. Specifically, we found that several substrates of thioredoxins were cross-linked to the cytosolic thioredoxin Trx2 in cells treated with DVSF. However, other DVSF targets, like the peroxiredoxin Ahp1, principally formed intra-protein cross-links upon DVSF treatment. Moreover, additional protein targets, including several known to undergo S-glutathionylation, were conjugated via DVSF to glutathione. Our results indicate that DVSF is of potential use as a chemical tool for irreversibly trapping and discovering thiol-based redox partnerships within cells.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - Infectious complications of musculoskeletal trauma are an important factor contributing to patient morbidity. Biofilm-dispersive bone grafts augmented with D-amino acids (D-AAs) prevent biofilm formation in vitro and in vivo, but the effects of D-AAs on osteocompatibility and new bone formation have not been investigated.
QUESTIONS/PURPOSES - We asked: (1) Do D-AAs hinder osteoblast and osteoclast differentiation in vitro? (2) Does local delivery of D-AAs from low-viscosity bone grafts inhibit new bone formation in a large-animal model?
METHODS - Methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus and methicillin-resistant S aureus clinical isolates, mouse bone marrow stromal cells, and osteoclast precursor cells were treated with an equal mass (1:1:1) mixture of D-Pro:D-Met:D-Phe. The effects of the D-AA dose on biofilm inhibition (n = 4), biofilm dispersion (n = 4), and bone marrow stromal cell proliferation (n = 3) were quantitatively measured by crystal violet staining. Osteoblast differentiation was quantitatively assessed by alkaline phosphatase staining, von Kossa staining, and quantitative reverse transcription for the osteogenic factors a1Col1 and Ocn (n = 3). Osteoclast differentiation was quantitatively measured by tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase staining (n = 3). Bone grafts augmented with 0 or 200 mmol/L D-AAs were injected in ovine femoral condyle defects in four sheep. New bone formation was evaluated by μCT and histology 4 months later. An a priori power analysis indicated that a sample size of four would detect a 7.5% difference of bone volume/total volume between groups assuming a mean and SD of 30% and 5%, respectively, with a power of 80% and an alpha level of 0.05 using a two-tailed t-test between the means of two independent samples.
RESULTS - Bone marrow stromal cell proliferation, osteoblast differentiation, and osteoclast differentiation were inhibited at D-AAs concentrations of 27 mmol/L or greater in a dose-responsive manner in vitro (p < 0.05). In methicillin-sensitive and methicillin-resistant S aureus clinical isolates, D-AAs inhibited biofilm formation at concentrations of 13.5 mmol/L or greater in vitro (p < 0.05). Local delivery of D-AAs from low-viscosity grafts did not inhibit new bone formation in a large-animal model pilot study (0 mmol/L D-AAs: bone volume/total volume = 26.9% ± 4.1%; 200 mmol/L D-AAs: bone volume/total volume = 28.3% ± 15.4%; mean difference with 95% CI = -1.4; p = 0.13).
CONCLUSIONS - D-AAs inhibit biofilm formation, bone marrow stromal cell proliferation, osteoblast differentiation, and osteoclast differentiation in vitro in a dose-responsive manner. Local delivery of D-AAs from bone grafts did not inhibit new bone formation in vivo at clinically relevant doses.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE - Local delivery of D-AAs is an effective antibiofilm strategy that does not appear to inhibit bone repair. Longitudinal studies investigating bacterial burden, bone formation, and bone remodeling in contaminated defects as a function of D-AA dose are required to further support the use of D-AAs in the clinical management of infected open fractures.
BACKGROUND - Cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease is characterized by infection, inflammation, lung function decline, and intermittent pulmonary exacerbations. However, the link between pulmonary exacerbation and lung disease progression remains unclear. Global metabolomic profiling can provide novel mechanistic insight into a disease process in addition to putative biomarkers for future study. Our objective was to investigate how the plasma metabolomic profile changes between CF pulmonary exacerbation and a clinically well state.
METHODS - Plasma samples and lung function data were collected from 25 CF patients during hospitalization for a pulmonary exacerbation and during quarterly outpatient clinic visits. In collaboration with Metabolon, Inc., the metabolomic profiles of matched pair plasma samples, one during exacerbation and one at a clinic visit, were analyzed using gas and liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. Compounds were identified by comparison to a library of standards. Mixed effects models that controlled for nutritional status and lung function were used to test for differences and principal components analysis was performed.
RESULTS - Our population had a median age of 27 years (14-39) and had a median FEV1 % predicted of 65% (23-105%). 398 total metabolites were identified and after adjustment for confounders, five metabolites signifying perturbations in nucleotide (hypoxanthine), nucleoside (N4-acetylcytidine), amino acid (N-acetylmethionine), carbohydrate (mannose), and steroid (cortisol) metabolism were identified. Principal components analysis provided good separation between the two clinical phenotypes.
CONCLUSIONS - Our findings provide putative metabolite biomarkers for future study and allow for hypothesis generation about the pathophysiology of CF pulmonary exacerbation.
© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Selenium is regulated in the body to maintain vital selenoproteins and to avoid toxicity. When selenium is limiting, cells utilize it to synthesize the selenoproteins most important to them, creating a selenoprotein hierarchy in the cell. The liver is the central organ for selenium regulation and produces excretory selenium forms to regulate whole-body selenium. It responds to selenium deficiency by curtailing excretion and secreting selenoprotein P (Sepp1) into the plasma at the expense of its intracellular selenoproteins. Plasma Sepp1 is distributed to tissues in relation to their expression of the Sepp1 receptor apolipoprotein E receptor-2, creating a tissue selenium hierarchy. N-terminal Sepp1 forms are taken up in the renal proximal tubule by another receptor, megalin. Thus, the regulated whole-body pool of selenium is shifted to needy cells and then to vital selenoproteins in them to supply selenium where it is needed, creating a whole-body selenoprotein hierarchy.
BACKGROUND & AIMS - Very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDLs) export lipids from the liver to peripheral tissues and are the precursors of low-density-lipoproteins. Low levels of hepatic S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) decrease triglyceride (TG) secretion in VLDLs, contributing to hepatosteatosis in methionine adenosyltransferase 1A knockout mice but nothing is known about the effect of SAMe on the circulating VLDL metabolism. We wanted to investigate whether excess SAMe could disrupt VLDL plasma metabolism and unravel the mechanisms involved.
METHODS - Glycine N-methyltransferase (GNMT) knockout (KO) mice, GNMT and perilipin-2 (PLIN2) double KO (GNMT-PLIN2-KO) and their respective wild type (WT) controls were used. A high fat diet (HFD) or a methionine deficient diet (MDD) was administrated to exacerbate or recover VLDL metabolism, respectively. Finally, 33 patients with non-alcoholic fatty-liver disease (NAFLD); 11 with hypertriglyceridemia and 22 with normal lipidemia were used in this study.
RESULTS - We found that excess SAMe increases the turnover of hepatic TG stores for secretion in VLDL in GNMT-KO mice, a model of NAFLD with high SAMe levels. The disrupted VLDL assembly resulted in the secretion of enlarged, phosphatidylethanolamine-poor, TG- and apoE-enriched VLDL-particles; special features that lead to increased VLDL clearance and decreased serum TG levels. Re-establishing normal SAMe levels restored VLDL secretion, features and metabolism. In NAFLD patients, serum TG levels were lower when hepatic GNMT-protein expression was decreased.
CONCLUSIONS - Excess hepatic SAMe levels disrupt VLDL assembly and features and increase circulating VLDL clearance, which will cause increased VLDL-lipid supply to tissues and might contribute to the extrahepatic complications of NAFLD.
Copyright © 2014 European Association for the Study of the Liver. All rights reserved.
Collagen IV is a family of 6 chains (α1-α6), that form triple-helical protomers that assemble into supramolecular networks. Two distinct networks with chain compositions of α121 and α345 have been established. These oligomerize into separate α121 and α345 networks by a homotypic interaction through their trimeric noncollagenous (NC1) domains, forming α121 and α345 NC1 hexamers, respectively. These are stabilized by novel sulfilimine (-S=N-) cross-links, a covalent cross-link that forms between Met(93) and Hyl(211) at the trimer-trimer interface. A third network with a composition of α1256 has been proposed, but its supramolecular organization has not been established. In this study we investigated the supramolecular organization of this network by determining the chain identity of sulfilimine-cross-linked NC1 domains derived from the α1256 NC1 hexamer. High resolution mass spectrometry analyses of peptides revealed that sulfilimine bonds specifically cross-link α1 to α5 and α2 to α6 NC1 domains, thus providing the spatial orientation between interacting α121 and α565 trimers. Using this information, we constructed a three-dimensional homology model in which the α565 trimer shows a good chemical and structural complementarity to the α121 trimer. Our studies provide the first chemical evidence for an α565 protomer and its heterotypic interaction with the α121 protomer. Moreover, our findings, in conjunction with our previous studies, establish that the six collagen IV chains are organized into three canonical protomers α121, α345, and α565 forming three distinct networks: α121, α345, and α121-α565, each of which is stabilized by sulfilimine bonds between their C-terminal NC1 domains.
© 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.