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Recent genetic analyses have provided evidence that clinical commonalities associated with different psychiatric diagnoses often have shared mechanistic underpinnings. The development of animal models expressing functional genetic variation attributed to multiple disorders offers a salient opportunity to capture molecular, circuit and behavioral alterations underlying this hypothesis. In keeping with studies suggesting dopaminergic contributions to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder (BPD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), subjects with these diagnoses have been found to express a rare, functional coding substitution in the dopamine (DA) transporter (DAT), Ala559Val. We developed DAT Val559 knock-in mice as a construct valid model of dopaminergic alterations that drive multiple clinical phenotypes, and here evaluate the impact of lifelong expression of the variant on impulsivity and motivation utilizing the 5- choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT) and Go/NoGo as well as tests of time estimation (peak interval analysis), reward salience (sucrose preference), and motivation (progressive ratio test). Our findings indicate that the DAT Val559 variant induces impulsivity behaviors that are dependent upon the reward context, with increased impulsive action observed when mice are required to delay responding for a reward, whereas mice are able to withhold responding if there is a probability of reward for a correct rejection. Utilizing peak interval and progressive ratio tests, we provide evidence that impulsivity is likely driven by an enhanced motivational phenotype that also may drive faster task acquisition in operant tasks. These data provide critical validation that DAT, and more generally, DA signaling perturbations can drive impulsivity that can manifest in specific contexts and not others, and may rely on motivational alterations, which may also drive increased maladaptive reward seeking.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
True catalases efficiently breakdown hydrogen peroxide, whereas the catalase-related enzyme allene oxide synthase (cAOS) is completely unreactive and instead metabolizes a fatty acid hydroperoxide. In cAOS a Thr residue adjacent to the distal His restrains reaction with H2O2 (Tosha et al. (2006) J. Biol. Chem. 281:12610; De Luna et al. (2013) J. Phys. Chem. B 117: 14635) and its mutation to the consensus Val of true catalases permits the interaction. Here we investigated the effects of the reciprocal experiment in which the Val74 of human catalase is mutated to Thr, Ser, Met, Pro, or Ala. The Val74Thr substitution decreased catalatic activity by 3.5-fold and peroxidatic activity by 3-fold. Substitution with Ser had similar negative effects (5- and 3-fold decreases). Met decreased catalatic activity 2-fold and eliminated peroxidatic activity altogether, whereas the Val74Ala substitution was well tolerated. (The Val74Pro protein lacked heme). We conclude that the conserved Val74 of true catalases helps optimize catalysis. There are rare substitutions of Val74 with Ala, Met, or Pro, but not with Ser of Thr, possibly due their hydrogen bonding affecting the conformation of His75, the essential distal heme residue for activity in catalases.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. and Société française de biochimie et biologie Moléculaire (SFBBM). All rights reserved.
OBJECTIVE - We investigated whether KR-66195, a new synthetic dipeptidyl dipeptidase IV inhibitor, could prevent weight gain, as well as improving glycemic control in diet-induced obese (DIO) and ob/ob mice.
MATERIALS/METHODS - Male C57BL/6 mice were randomly assigned to the following groups: chow diet, high-fat diet, and high-fat diet with KR-66195. After KR-66195 treatment for eight weeks, intraperitoneal glucose tolerance tests were performed. A pair-feeding study was performed to investigate the mechanisms of the anti-obesity effects of KR-66195 in DIO mice. Female ob/ob mice were treated with KR-66195 for three weeks and compared to the vehicle-treated group.
RESULTS - In DIO mice, KR-66195 treatment increased the plasma glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 levels and improved glucose tolerance. This treatment also reduced body weight gain (5.38±0.94 g vs. 12.08±0.55 g, P<0.01) and food intake (2.41±0.09 g vs. 2.79±0.11 g, P<0.05). In ob/ob mice, KR-66195 treatment for three weeks resulted in comparable effects in DIO mice. In the pair-feeding study, KR-66195-treated mice exhibited a 16% increase in energy expenditure (kcal/h/kg lean body mass) without significant differences in body weight or activities compared with pair-fed mice. These results suggest that KR-66195 prevented weight gain in DIO mice by decreasing food intake, as well as increasing energy expenditure.
CONCLUSIONS - KR-66195 markedly increased plasma levels of GLP-1, resulting in the probable improvement in glucose tolerance and reduced body weight and food intake. Thus, KR-66195 might be further developed as a therapeutic drug to treat obesity, as well as diabetes.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
OBJECTIVES - This study sought to determine the frequency and magnitude of impaired systolic deformation in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF).
BACKGROUND - Although diastolic dysfunction is widely considered a key pathophysiologic mediator of HFpEF, the prevalence of concomitant systolic dysfunction has not been clearly defined.
METHODS - We assessed myocardial systolic and diastolic function in 219 HFpEF patients from a contemporary HFpEF clinical trial. Myocardial deformation was assessed using a vendor-independent 2-dimensional speckle-tracking software. The frequency and severity of impaired deformation was assessed in HFpEF, and compared to 50 normal controls free of cardiovascular disease and to 44 age- and sex-matched hypertensive patients with diastolic dysfunction (hypertensive heart disease) but no HF. Among HFpEF patients, clinical, echocardiographic, and biomarker correlates of left ventricular strain were determined.
RESULTS - The HFpEF patients had preserved left ventricular ejection fraction and evidence of diastolic dysfunction. Compared to both normal controls and hypertensive heart disease patients, the HFpEF patients demonstrated significantly lower longitudinal strain (LS) (-20.0 ± 2.1 and -17.07 ± 2.04 vs. -14.6 ± 3.3, respectively, p < 0.0001 for both) and circumferential strain (CS) (-27.1 ± 3.1 and -30.1 ± 3.5 vs. -22.9 ± 5.9, respectively; p < 0.0001 for both). In HFpEF, both LS and CS were related to LVEF (LS, R = -0.46; p < 0.0001; CS, R = -0.51; p < 0.0001) but not to standard echocardiographic measures of diastolic function (E' or E/E'). Lower LS was modestly associated with higher NT-proBNP, even after adjustment for 10 baseline covariates including LVEF, measures of diastolic function, and LV filling pressure (multivariable adjusted p = 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS - Strain imaging detects impaired systolic function despite preserved global LVEF in HFpEF that may contribute to the pathophysiology of the HFpEF syndrome. (LCZ696 Compared to Valsartan in Patients With Chronic Heart Failure and Preserved Left-ventricular Ejection Fraction; NCT00887588).
Copyright © 2014 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The Synechococcus elongatus KaiA, KaiB, and KaiC proteins in the presence of ATP generate a post-translational oscillator that runs in a temperature-compensated manner with a period of 24 h. KaiA dimer stimulates phosphorylation of KaiC hexamer at two sites per subunit, T432 and S431, and KaiB dimers antagonize KaiA action and induce KaiC subunit exchange. Neither the mechanism of KaiA-stimulated KaiC phosphorylation nor that of KaiB-mediated KaiC dephosphorylation is understood in detail at present. We demonstrate here that the A422V KaiC mutant sheds light on the former mechanism. It was previously reported that A422V is less sensitive to dark pulse-induced phase resetting and has a reduced amplitude of the KaiC phosphorylation rhythm in vivo. A422 maps to a loop (422-loop) that continues toward the phosphorylation sites. By pulling on the C-terminal peptide of KaiC (A-loop), KaiA removes restraints from the adjacent 422-loop whose increased flexibility indirectly promotes kinase activity. We found in the crystal structure that A422V KaiC lacks phosphorylation at S431 and exhibits a subtle, local conformational change relative to wild-type KaiC. Molecular dynamics simulations indicate higher mobility of the 422-loop in the absence of the A-loop and mobility differences in other areas associated with phosphorylation activity between wild-type and mutant KaiCs. The A-loop-422-loop relay that informs KaiC phosphorylation sites of KaiA dimer binding propagates to loops from neighboring KaiC subunits, thus providing support for a concerted allosteric mechanism of phosphorylation.
UNLABELLED - What is already known about this subject Circulating concentrations of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) can affect carbohydrate metabolism in skeletal muscle, and therefore may alter insulin sensitivity. BCAAs are elevated in adults with diet-induced obesity, and are associated with their future risk of type 2 diabetes even after accounting for baseline clinical risk factors. What this study adds Increased concentrations of BCAAs are already present in young obese children and their metabolomic profiles are consistent with increased BCAA catabolism. Elevations in BCAAs in children are positively associated with insulin resistance measured 18 months later, independent of their initial body mass index.
BACKGROUND - Branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) concentrations are elevated in response to overnutrition, and can affect both insulin sensitivity and secretion. Alterations in their metabolism may therefore play a role in the early pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes in overweight children.
OBJECTIVE - To determine whether paediatric obesity is associated with elevations in fasting circulating concentrations of BCAAs (isoleucine, leucine and valine), and whether these elevations predict future insulin resistance.
METHODS - Sixty-nine healthy subjects, ages 8-18 years, were enrolled as a cross-sectional cohort. A subset of subjects who were pre- or early-pubertal, ages 8-13 years, were enrolled in a prospective longitudinal cohort for 18 months (n = 17 with complete data).
RESULTS - Elevations in the concentrations of BCAAs were significantly associated with body mass index (BMI) Z-score (Spearman's Rho 0.27, P = 0.03) in the cross-sectional cohort. In the subset of subjects that followed longitudinally, baseline BCAA concentrations were positively associated with homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance measured 18 months later after controlling for baseline clinical factors including BMI Z-score, sex and pubertal stage (P = 0.046).
CONCLUSIONS - Elevations in the concentrations of circulating BCAAs are significantly associated with obesity in children and adolescents, and may independently predict future insulin resistance.
© 2012 The Authors. Pediatric Obesity © 2012 International Association for the Study of Obesity.
The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val(66) Met allelic variation is linked to both the occurrence of mood disorders and antidepressant response. These findings are not universally observed, and the mechanism by which this variation results in increased risk for mood disorders is unclear. One possible explanation is an epistatic relationship with other neurotransmitter genes associated with depression risk, such as the serotonin-transporter-linked promotor region (5-HTTLPR). Further, it is unclear how the coexistence of the BDNF Met and 5-HTTLPR S variants affects the function of the affective and cognitive control systems. To address this question, we conducted a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study in 38 older adults (20 healthy and 18 remitted from major depressive disorder). Subjects performed an emotional oddball task during the fMRI scan and provided blood samples for genotyping. Our analyses examined the relationship between genotypes and brain activation to sad distractors and attentional targets. We found that 5-HTTLPR S allele carriers exhibited stronger activation in the amygdala in response to sad distractors, whereas BDNF Met carriers exhibited increased activation to sad stimuli but decreased activation to attentional targets in the dorsolateral prefrontal and dorsomedial prefrontal cortices. In addition, subjects with both the S allele and Met allele genes exhibited increased activation to sad stimuli in the subgenual cingulate and posterior cingulate. Our results indicate that the Met allele alone or in combination with 5-HTTLPR S allele may increase reactivity to sad stimuli, which might represent a neural mechanism underlying increased depression vulnerability.
© 2012 The Authors. Genes, Brain and Behavior © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd and International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society.
Biomarkers of oxidative stress and inflammation predict cardiovascular events in maintenance hemodialysis patients. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs) reduce cardiovascular mortality in the general population, but their benefit in maintenance hemodialysis patients is not fully explored. To test whether ACE inhibitors and ARBs differentially affect markers of oxidative stress, inflammation, and fibrinolysis during hemodialysis, we conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled 3×3 crossover study. We randomly assigned 15 participants undergoing hemodialysis to placebo, ramipril (5 mg/d), and valsartan (160 mg/d) for 7 days, with a washout period of 3 weeks in between the treatments. On the morning of the seventh day of drug treatment, participants underwent serial blood sampling during hemodialysis. Neither ramipril nor valsartan affected BP during hemodialysis. Ramipril increased IL-1β concentrations (P=0.02) and decreased IL-10 concentrations (P=0.04) compared with placebo. Valsartan and ramipril both lowered IL-6 levels during dialysis (P<0.01 for each compared with placebo). Valsartan increased F(2)-isoprostane levels, and ramipril suggested a similar trend (P=0.09). Valsartan and ramipril both lowered D-dimer levels (P<0.01 for both), whereas only ramipril seemed to prevent a rise in vWf levels (P=0.04). In summary, during hemodialysis, valsartan induces a greater anti-inflammatory effect compared with ramipril, although ramipril seems to prevent dialysis-induced endothelial dysfunction as measured by levels of vWf. A prospective clinical trial is necessary to determine whether ACE inhibitors and ARBs also differ with respect to their effects on cardiovascular mortality in this population.
Glycine N-methyltransferase (GNMT) is a key regulatory enzyme in methyl group metabolism. In mammalian liver it reduces S-adenosylmethionine levels by using it to methylate glycine, producing N-methylglycine (sarcosine) and S-adenosylhomocysteine. GNMT is inhibited by binding two molecules of 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (mono- or polyglutamate forms) per tetramer of the active enzyme. Inhibition is sensitive to the status of the N-terminal valine of GNMT and to polyglutamation of the folate inhibitor. It is inhibited by pentaglutamate form more efficiently compared to monoglutamate form. The native rat liver GNMT contains an acetylated N-terminal valine and is inhibited much more efficiently compared to the recombinant protein expressed in E. coli where the N-terminus is not acetylated. In this work we used a protein crystallography approach to evaluate the structural basis for these differences. We show that in the folate-GNMT complexes with the native enzyme, two folate molecules establish three and four hydrogen bonds with the protein. In the folate-recombinant GNMT complex only one hydrogen bond is established. This difference results in more effective inhibition by folate of the native liver GNMT activity compared to the recombinant enzyme.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Although not observed in younger adult cohorts, in older individuals the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphism is associated with major depressive disorder (MDD) risk. It is further associated with subjective social support and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) hyperintense lesions, clinical features independently related to MDD. We examined the relationship between this polymorphism and antidepressant remission rates in an elderly sample with MDD, while also testing for mediation effects of social support and hyperintensities. A total of 229 elderly Caucasian subjects with MDD completed baseline assessments, 1.5 T MRI, and BDNF genotyping. They received antidepressant medication under a structured treatment algorithm and were evaluated for remission at 3 and 6 months. At the 3-month evaluation, BDNF Val66Met genotype was not associated with remission (Wald's χ²=2.51, P=0.1131). When not controlling for multiple comparisons, Met66 allele carriers were more likely to be remitted at 6 months (χ²=4.32, P=0.0377) with an odds ratio of 1.82 (95% CI: 1.04, 3.22). This effect persisted after controlling for lesion volume and social support, neither of which mediated this relationship. Thus in this exploratory analysis, the Met66 allele may be associated with increased odds of remission in older subjects, but also with increased time to remission as there was no 3-month effect.