Disturbances in amino acid metabolism are increasingly recognized as being associated with, and serving as prognostic markers for chronic human diseases, such as cancer or type 2 diabetes. In the current study, a quantitative metabolomics profiling strategy revealed global impairment in amino acid metabolism in mice deleted for the transcriptional coactivator steroid receptor coactivator (SRC)-1. Aberrations were hepatic in origin, because selective reexpression of SRC-1 in the liver of SRC-1 null mice largely restored amino acids concentrations to normal levels. Cistromic analysis of SRC-1 binding sites in hepatic tissues confirmed a prominent influence of this coregulator on transcriptional programs regulating amino acid metabolism. More specifically, SRC-1 markedly impacted tyrosine levels and was found to regulate the transcriptional activity of the tyrosine aminotransferase (TAT) gene, which encodes the rate-limiting enzyme of tyrosine catabolism. Consequently, SRC-1 null mice displayed low TAT expression and presented with hypertyrosinemia and corneal alterations, 2 clinical features observed in the human syndrome of TAT deficiency. A heterozygous missense variant of SRC-1 (p.P1272S) that is known to alter its coactivation potential, was found in patients harboring idiopathic tyrosinemia-like disorders and may therefore represent one risk factor for their clinical symptoms. Hence, we reinforce the concept that SRC-1 is a central factor in the fine orchestration of multiple pathways of intermediary metabolism, suggesting it as a potential therapeutic target that may be exploitable in human metabolic diseases and cancer.
Impaired capacity of skeletal muscle to switch between the oxidation of fatty acid (FA) and glucose is linked to disordered metabolic homeostasis. To understand how muscle FA oxidation affects systemic glucose, we studied mice with a skeletal muscle-specific deficiency of long-chain acyl-CoA synthetase-1 (ACSL1). ACSL1 deficiency caused a 91% loss of ACSL specific activity and 60-85% decreases in muscle FA oxidation. Acsl1(M-/-) mice were more insulin-sensitive, and during an overnight fast, their respiratory exchange ratio was higher, indicating greater glucose use. During endurance exercise, Acsl1(M-/-) mice ran only 48% as far as controls. At the time that Acsl1(M-/-) mice were exhausted but control mice continued to run, liver and muscle glycogen and triacylglycerol stores were similar in both genotypes; however, Acsl1(M-/-) plasma glucose concentrations were ?40 mg/dl, whereas control glucose levels were ?90 mg/dl. Excess use of glucose and the likely use of amino acids for fuel within muscle depleted glucose reserves and diminished substrate availability for hepatic gluconeogenesis. Surprisingly, the content of muscle acyl-CoA at exhaustion was markedly elevated, indicating that acyl-CoAs synthesized by other ACSL isoforms were not available for ?-oxidation. This compartmentalization of acyl-CoAs resulted in both an excessive glucose requirement and severely compromised systemic glucose homeostasis.
The NIH Summit, Advances in Geroscience: Impact on Health Span and Chronic Disease, discusses several aspects of cellular degeneration that underlie susceptibility to chronic aging-associated diseases, morbidity, and mortality. In particular, the session on Metabolism focuses on the interrelationship between signal transduction, intermediary metabolism, and metabolic products and byproducts that contribute to pathophysiologic phenotypes and detrimental effects that occur during the aging process, thus leading to susceptibility to disease. Although it is well established that many metabolic pathways (ie, oxidative phosphorylation, insulin-stimulated glucose uptake) decline with age, it often remains uncertain if these are a cause or consequence of the aging process. Moreover, the mechanisms accounting for the decline in metabolic function remain enigmatic. Several novel and unexpected concepts are emerging that will help to define the roles of altered metabolic control in the degenerative mechanisms of aging. This brief review summarizes several of the topics to be discussed in the metabolism of aging session (http://www.geron.org/About%20Us/nih-geroscience-summit).
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is a major public health concern in the obese and type 2 diabetic populations. The high-fat lard diet induces obesity and fatty liver in C57BL/6J mice and suppresses expression of the PPAR-target gene, FA elongase 5 (Elovl5). Elovl5 plays a key role in MUFA and PUFA synthesis. Increasing hepatic Elovl5 activity in obese mice lowered hepatic TGs and endoplasmic reticulum stress markers (X-box binding protein 1 and cAMP-dependent transcription factor 6?) and increased TG catabolism and fatty acyl carnitines. Increased hepatic Elovl5 activity did not increase hepatic capacity for ?-oxidation. Elovl5 effects on hepatic TG catabolism were linked to increased protein levels of adipocyte TG lipase (ATGL) and comparative gene identification 58 (CGI58). Elevated hepatic Elovl5 activity also induced the expression of some (pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 and fibroblast growth factor 21), but not other cytochrome P450 4A10 (CYP4A10), PPAR-target genes. FA products of Elovl5 activity increased ATGL, but not CGI58, mRNA through PPAR?-dependent mechanisms in human HepG2 cells. Treatment of mouse AML12 hepatocytes with the PPAR? agonist (GW0742) decreased (14)C-18:2,n-6 in TGs but did not affect ?-oxidation. These studies establish that Elovl5 activity regulates hepatic levels of FAs controlling PPAR? activity, ATGL expression, and TG catabolism, but not FA oxidation.
Loss of functional ?-cell mass is a hallmark of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and methods for restoring these cells are needed. We have previously reported that overexpression of the homeodomain transcription factor NK6 homeobox 1 (Nkx6.1) in rat pancreatic islets induces ?-cell proliferation and enhances glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, but the pathway by which Nkx6.1 activates ?-cell expansion has not been defined. Here, we demonstrate that Nkx6.1 induces expression of the nuclear receptor subfamily 4, group A, members 1 and 3 (Nr4a1 and Nr4a3) orphan nuclear receptors, and that these factors are both necessary and sufficient for Nkx6.1-mediated ?-cell proliferation. Consistent with this finding, global knockout of Nr4a1 results in a decrease in ?-cell area in neonatal and young mice. Overexpression of Nkx6.1 and the Nr4a receptors results in increased expression of key cell cycle inducers E2F transcription factor 1 and cyclin E1. Furthermore, Nkx6.1 and Nr4a receptors induce components of the anaphase-promoting complex, including ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme E2C, resulting in degradation of the cell cycle inhibitor p21. These studies identify a unique bipartite pathway for activation of ?-cell proliferation, suggesting several unique targets for expansion of functional ?-cell mass.
Malnutrition is a major cause of childhood morbidity and mortality. To identify and target those at highest risk, there is a critical need to characterize biomarkers that predict complications prior to and during treatment.
Circulating branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) levels are elevated in obesity/diabetes and are a sensitive predictor for type 2 diabetes. Here we show in rats that insulin dose-dependently lowers plasma BCAA levels through induction of hepatic protein expression and activity of branched-chain ?-keto acid dehydrogenase (BCKDH), the rate-limiting enzyme in the BCAA degradation pathway. Selective induction of hypothalamic insulin signaling in rats and genetic modulation of brain insulin receptors in mice demonstrate that brain insulin signaling is a major regulator of BCAA metabolism by inducing hepatic BCKDH. Short-term overfeeding impairs the ability of brain insulin to lower BCAAs in rats. High-fat feeding in nonhuman primates and obesity and/or diabetes in humans is associated with reduced BCKDH protein in liver. These findings support the concept that decreased hepatic BCKDH is a major cause of increased plasma BCAAs and that hypothalamic insulin resistance may account for impaired BCAA metabolism in obesity and diabetes.
Carnitine acetyltransferase (CrAT) is a mitochondrial matrix enzyme that catalyzes the interconversion of acetyl-CoA and acetylcarnitine. Emerging evidence suggests that this enzyme functions as a positive regulator of total body glucose tolerance and muscle activity of pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH), a mitochondrial enzyme complex that promotes glucose oxidation and is feedback inhibited by acetyl-CoA. Here, we used tandem mass spectrometry-based metabolic profiling to identify a negative relationship between CrAT activity and muscle content of lipid intermediates. CrAT specific activity was diminished in muscles from obese and diabetic rodents despite increased protein abundance. This reduction in enzyme activity was accompanied by muscle accumulation of long-chain acylcarnitines (LCACs) and acyl-CoAs and a decline in the acetylcarnitine/acetyl-CoA ratio. In vitro assays demonstrated that palmitoyl-CoA acts as a direct mixed-model inhibitor of CrAT. Similarly, in primary human myocytes grown in culture, nutritional and genetic manipulations that promoted mitochondrial influx of fatty acids resulted in accumulation of LCACs but a pronounced decrease of CrAT-derived short-chain acylcarnitines. These results suggest that lipid-induced antagonism of CrAT might contribute to decreased PDH activity and glucose disposal in the context of obesity and diabetes.
Previous studies have used indirect measures of insulin sensitivity to link circulating amino acids with insulin resistance and identify potential biomarkers of diabetes risk. Using direct measures (i.e. hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps), we examined the relationships between the metabolomic amino acid profile and insulin action [i.e. glucose disposal rate (GDR)]. Relationships between GDR and serum amino acids were determined among insulin sensitive, insulin resistant, and Type 2 Diabetes (T2DM) individuals. In all subjects, glycine (Gly) had the strongest correlation with GDR (positive association), followed by leucine/isoleucine (Leu/Ile, negative association). These relationships were dramatically influenced by BMI, the resting respiratory quotient (RQ), T2DM, and gender. Gly had a strong positive correlation with GDR regardless of BMI, RQ, or gender, but became non-significant in T2DM. In contrast, Leu/Ile was negatively associated with GDR in non-obese and T2DM subjects. Increased resting fat metabolism (i.e., low-RQ) and obesity were observed to independently promote and negate the association between Leu/Ile and insulin resistance, respectively. Additionally, the relationship between Leu/Ile and GDR was magnified in T2DM males. Future studies are needed to determine whether Gly has a mechanistic role in glucose homeostasis and whether dietary Gly enrichment may be an effective intervention in diseases characterized by insulin resistance.
Abstract In overweight/obese individuals, cardiometabolic risk factors differ by race and sex categories. Small-molecule metabolites and metabolic hormone levels might also differ across these categories and contribute to risk factor heterogeneity. To explore this possibility, we performed a cross-sectional analysis of fasting plasma levels of 69 small-molecule metabolites and 13 metabolic hormones in 500 overweight/obese adults who participated in the Weight Loss Maintenance trial. Principal-components analysis (PCA) was used for reduction of metabolite data. Race and sex-stratified comparisons of metabolite factors and metabolic hormones were performed. African Americans represented 37.4% of the study participants, and females 63.0%. Of thirteen metabolite factors identified, three differed by race and sex: levels of factor 3 (branched-chain amino acids and related metabolites, p<0.0001), factor 6 (long-chain acylcarnitines, p<0.01), and factor 2 (medium-chain dicarboxylated acylcarnitines, p<0.0001) were higher in males vs. females; factor 6 levels were higher in Caucasians vs. African Americans (p<0.0001). Significant differences were also observed in hormones regulating body weight homeostasis. Among overweight/obese adults, there are significant race and sex differences in small-molecule metabolites and metabolic hormones; these differences may contribute to risk factor heterogeneity across race and sex subgroups and should be considered in future investigations with circulating metabolites and metabolic hormones.
Circadian clocks are self-sustained cellular oscillators that synchronize oxidative and reductive cycles in anticipation of the solar cycle. We found that the clock transcription feedback loop produces cycles of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(+)) biosynthesis, adenosine triphosphate production, and mitochondrial respiration through modulation of mitochondrial protein acetylation to synchronize oxidative metabolic pathways with the 24-hour fasting and feeding cycle. Circadian control of the activity of the NAD(+)-dependent deacetylase sirtuin 3 (SIRT3) generated rhythms in the acetylation and activity of oxidative enzymes and respiration in isolated mitochondria, and NAD(+) supplementation restored protein deacetylation and enhanced oxygen consumption in circadian mutant mice. Thus, circadian control of NAD(+) bioavailability modulates mitochondrial oxidative function and organismal metabolism across the daily cycles of fasting and feeding.
The role of specific gut microbes in shaping body composition remains unclear. We transplanted fecal microbiota from adult female twin pairs discordant for obesity into germ-free mice fed low-fat mouse chow, as well as diets representing different levels of saturated fat and fruit and vegetable consumption typical of the U.S. diet. Increased total body and fat mass, as well as obesity-associated metabolic phenotypes, were transmissible with uncultured fecal communities and with their corresponding fecal bacterial culture collections. Cohousing mice harboring an obese twins microbiota (Ob) with mice containing the lean co-twins microbiota (Ln) prevented the development of increased body mass and obesity-associated metabolic phenotypes in Ob cage mates. Rescue correlated with invasion of specific members of Bacteroidetes from the Ln microbiota into Ob microbiota and was diet-dependent. These findings reveal transmissible, rapid, and modifiable effects of diet-by-microbiota interactions.
Reversible posttranslational modifications are emerging as critical regulators of mitochondrial proteins and metabolism. Here, we use a label-free quantitative proteomic approach to characterize the lysine succinylome in liver mitochondria and its regulation by the desuccinylase SIRT5. A total of 1,190 unique sites were identified as succinylated, and 386 sites across 140 proteins representing several metabolic pathways including ?-oxidation and ketogenesis were significantly hypersuccinylated in Sirt5(-/-) animals. Loss of SIRT5 leads to accumulation of medium- and long-chain acylcarnitines and decreased ?-hydroxybutyrate production in vivo. In addition, we demonstrate that SIRT5 regulates succinylation of the rate-limiting ketogenic enzyme 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA synthase 2 (HMGCS2) both in vivo and in vitro. Finally, mutation of hypersuccinylated residues K83 and K310 on HMGCS2 to glutamic acid strongly inhibits enzymatic activity. Taken together, these findings establish SIRT5 as a global regulator of lysine succinylation in mitochondria and present a mechanism for inhibition of ketogenesis through HMGCS2.
OBJECTIVE To characterize metabolites across the range of maternal glucose by comparing metabolomic profiles of mothers with high and low fasting plasma glucose (FPG). RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS We compared fasting serum from an oral glucose tolerance test at ?28 weeks gestation from 67 Northern European ancestry mothers from the Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome (HAPO) Study with high (>90th percentile) FPG with 50 mothers with low (<10th percentile) FPG but comparable BMI. Metabolic data from biochemical analyses of conventional clinical metabolites, targeted mass spectrometry (MS)-based measurement of amino acids, and nontargeted gas chromatography/MS were subjected to per-metabolite analyses and collective pathway analyses using Unipathway annotation. RESULTS High-FPG mothers had a metabolic profile consistent with insulin resistance including higher triglycerides, 3-hydroxybutyrate, and amino acids including alanine, proline, and branched-chain amino acids (false discovery rate [FDR]-adjusted P < 0.05). Lower 1,5-anhydroglucitol in high-FPG mothers suggested recent hyperglycemic excursions (FDR-adjusted P < 0.05). Pathway analyses indicated differences in amino acid degradation pathways for the two groups (FDR-adjusted P < 0.05), consistent with population-based findings in nonpregnant populations. Exploratory analyses with newborn outcomes indicated positive associations for maternal triglycerides with neonatal sum of skinfolds and cord C-peptide and a negative association between maternal glycine and cord C-peptide (P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS Metabolomics reveals perturbations in metabolism of major macronutrients and amino acid degradation pathways in high- versus low-FPG mothers.
The homeodomain transcription factor Pdx-1 has important roles in pancreatic development and ?-cell function and survival. In the present study, we demonstrate that adenovirus-mediated overexpression of Pdx-1 in rat or human islets also stimulates cell replication. Moreover, cooverexpression of Pdx-1 with another homeodomain transcription factor, Nkx6.1, has an additive effect on proliferation compared to either factor alone, implying discrete activating mechanisms. Consistent with this, Nkx6.1 stimulates mainly ?-cell proliferation, whereas Pdx-1 stimulates both ?- and ?-cell proliferation. Furthermore, cyclins D1/D2 are upregulated by Pdx-1 but not by Nkx6.1, and inhibition of cdk4 blocks Pdx-1-stimulated but not Nkx6.1-stimulated islet cell proliferation. Genes regulated by Pdx-1 but not Nkx6.1 were identified by microarray analysis. Two members of the transient receptor potential cation (TRPC) channel family, TRPC3 and TRPC6, are upregulated by Pdx-1 overexpression, and small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated knockdown of TRPC3/6 or TRPC6 alone inhibits Pdx-1-induced but not Nkx6.1-induced islet cell proliferation. Pdx-1 also stimulates extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) phosphorylation, an effect partially blocked by knockdown of TRPC3/6, and blockade of ERK1/2 activation with a MEK1/2 inhibitor partially impairs Pdx-1-stimulated proliferation. These studies define a pathway by which overexpression of Pdx-1 activates islet cell proliferation that is distinct from and additive to a pathway activated by Nkx6.1.
A variety of oncogenic and environmental factors alter tumor metabolism to serve the distinct cellular biosynthetic and bioenergetic needs present during oncogenesis. Extracellular acidosis is a common microenvironmental stress in solid tumors, but little is known about its metabolic influence, particularly when present in the absence of hypoxia. In order to characterize the extent of tumor cell metabolic adaptations to acidosis, we employed stable isotope tracers to examine how acidosis impacts glucose, glutamine, and palmitate metabolism in breast cancer cells exposed to extracellular acidosis.
Sirt3 is an NAD(+)-dependent deacetylase that regulates mitochondrial function by targeting metabolic enzymes and proteins. In fasting mice, Sirt3 expression is decreased in skeletal muscle resulting in increased mitochondrial protein acetylation. Deletion of Sirt3 led to impaired glucose oxidation in muscle, which was associated with decreased pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) activity, accumulation of pyruvate and lactate metabolites, and an inability of insulin to suppress fatty acid oxidation. Antibody-based acetyl-peptide enrichment and mass spectrometry of mitochondrial lysates from WT and Sirt3 KO skeletal muscle revealed that a major target of Sirt3 deacetylation is the E1? subunit of PDH (PDH E1?). Sirt3 knockout in vivo and Sirt3 knockdown in myoblasts in vitro induced hyperacetylation of the PDH E1? subunit, altering its phosphorylation leading to suppressed PDH enzymatic activity. The inhibition of PDH activity resulting from reduced levels of Sirt3 induces a switch of skeletal muscle substrate utilization from carbohydrate oxidation toward lactate production and fatty acid utilization even in the fed state, contributing to a loss of metabolic flexibility. Thus, Sirt3 plays an important role in skeletal muscle mitochondrial substrate choice and metabolic flexibility in part by regulating PDH function through deacetylation.
Recent studies have shown that the pyruvate-isocitrate cycling pathway, involving the mitochondrial citrate/isocitrate carrier and the cytosolic NADP-dependent isocitrate dehydrogenase (ICDc), is involved in control of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS). Here we demonstrate that pyruvate-isocitrate cycling regulates expression of the voltage-gated potassium channel family member Kv2.2 in islet ?-cells. siRNA-mediated suppression of ICDc, citrate/isocitrate carrier, or Kv2.2 expression impaired GSIS, and the effect of ICDc knockdown was rescued by re-expression of Kv2.2. Moreover, chronic exposure of ?-cells to elevated fatty acids, which impairs GSIS, resulted in decreased expression of Kv2.2. Surprisingly, knockdown of ICDc or Kv2.2 increased rather than decreased outward K(+) current in the 832/13 ?-cell line. Immunoprecipitation studies demonstrated interaction of Kv2.1 and Kv2.2, and co-overexpression of the two channels reduced outward K(+) current compared with overexpression of Kv2.1 alone. Also, siRNA-mediated knockdown of ICDc enhanced the suppressive effect of the Kv2.1-selective inhibitor stromatoxin1 on K(+) currents. Our data support a model in which a key function of the pyruvate-isocitrate cycle is to maintain levels of Kv2.2 expression sufficient to allow it to serve as a negative regulator of Kv channel activity.
Glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) in pancreatic beta-cells is potentiated by fatty acids (FA). The initial step in the metabolism of intracellular FA is the conversion to acyl-CoA by long chain acyl-CoA synthetases (Acsls). Because the predominantly expressed Acsl isoforms in INS 832/13 cells are Acsl4 and -5, we characterized the role of these Acsls in beta-cell function by using siRNA to knock down Acsl4 or Acsl5. Compared with control cells, an 80% suppression of Acsl4 decreased GSIS and FA-potentiated GSIS by 32 and 54%, respectively. Knockdown of Acsl5 did not alter GSIS. Acsl4 knockdown did not alter FA oxidation or long chain acyl-CoA levels. With Acsl4 knockdown, incubation with 17 mm glucose increased media epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) and reduced cell membrane levels of EETs. Further, exogenous EETs reduced GSIS in INS 832/13 cells, and in Acsl4 knockdown cells, an EET receptor antagonist partially rescued GSIS. These results strongly suggest that Acsl4 activates EETs to form EET-CoAs that are incorporated into glycerophospholipids, thereby sequestering EETs. Exposing INS 832/13 cells to arachidonate or linoleate reduced Acsl4 mRNA and protein expression and reduced GSIS. These data indicate that Acsl4 modulates GSIS by regulating the levels of unesterified EETs and that arachidonate controls the expression of its activator Acsl4.
Diabesity has become a popular term to describe the specific form of diabetes that develops late in life and is associated with obesity. While there is a correlation between diabetes and obesity, the association is not universally predictive. Defining the metabolic characteristics of obesity that lead to diabetes, and how obese individuals who develop diabetes different from those who do not, are important goals. The use of large-scale omics analyses (e.g., metabolomic, proteomic, transcriptomic, and lipidomic) of diabetes and obesity may help to identify new targets to treat these conditions. This report discusses how various types of omics data can be integrated to shed light on the changes in metabolism that occur in obesity and diabetes.
It has been hypothesized that a greater decline in circulating branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) after weight loss induced by Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) surgery than after calorie restriction alone has independent effects on glucose homeostasis, possibly by decreased signaling through the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). We evaluated plasma BCAAs and their C3 and C5 acylcarnitine metabolites, muscle mTOR phosphorylation, and insulin sensitivity (insulin-stimulated glucose Rd) in obese subjects before and after ~20% weight loss induced by RYGB (n = 10, BMI 45.6 ± 6.7 kg/m(2)) or laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) (n = 10, BMI 46.5 ± 8.8 kg/m(2)). Weight loss increased insulin-stimulated glucose Rd by ~55%, decreased total plasma BCAA and C3 and C5 acylcarnitine concentrations by 20-35%, and did not alter mTOR phosphorylation; no differences were detected between surgical groups (all P values for interaction >0.05). Insulin-stimulated glucose Rd correlated negatively with plasma BCAAs and with C3 and C5 acylcarnitine concentrations (r values -0.56 to -0.75, P < 0.05). These data demonstrate that weight loss induced by either LAGB or RYGB causes the same decline in circulating BCAAs and their C3 and C5 acylcarnitine metabolites. Plasma BCAA concentration is negatively associated with skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity, but the mechanism(s) responsible for this relationship is not known.
The accumulation of long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs) in non-adipose tissues results in lipid-induced cytotoxicity (or lipoapoptosis). Lipoapoptosis has been proposed to play an important role in the pathogenesis of several metabolic diseases, including non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular disease. In this report, we demonstrate a novel role for caspase-2 as an initiator of lipoapoptosis. Using a metabolomics approach, we discovered that the activation of caspase-2, the initiator of apoptosis in Xenopus egg extracts, is associated with an accumulation of LCFA metabolites. Metabolic treatments that blocked the buildup of LCFAs potently inhibited caspase-2 activation, whereas adding back an LCFA in this scenario restored caspase activation. Extending these findings to mammalian cells, we show that caspase-2 was engaged and activated in response to treatment with the saturated LCFA palmitate. Down-regulation of caspase-2 significantly impaired cell death induced by saturated LCFAs, suggesting that caspase-2 plays a pivotal role in lipid-induced cytotoxicity. Together, these findings reveal a previously unknown role for caspase-2 as an initiator caspase in lipoapoptosis and suggest that caspase-2 may be an attractive therapeutic target for inhibiting pathological lipid-induced apoptosis.
Aging is like the weather: everyone talks about it, but no one seems to do anything about it. We believe this may soon change, as an improved understanding of the molecular and genetic pathways underlying aging suggests it is possible to therapeutically target the aging process and increase health span. This Review series focuses on fundamental cellular mechanisms of aging and their relationship to human disease. These pathways include telomere dysfunction in cellular senescence and induction of the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) in systemic aging, sirtuin family regulation of metabolism and aging-associated diseases, mitochondrial metabolism in aging, the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway and the use of mTOR inhibitors to increase longevity, the progressive decline of the immune system with age, and aging-associated changes to pancreatic islet ? cells that may contribute to diabetes. Together, these articles explore pathways affecting aging and possible interventional targets to slow or delay the onset of age-related pathologies.
The rapidly growing family of transcriptional coregulators includes coactivators that promote transcription and corepressors that harbor the opposing function. In recent years, coregulators have emerged as important regulators of metabolic homeostasis, including the p160 steroid receptor coactivator (SRC) family. Members of the SRC family have been ascribed important roles in control of gluconeogenesis, fat absorption and storage in the liver, and fatty acid oxidation in skeletal muscle. To provide a deeper and more granular understanding of the metabolic impact of the SRC family members, we performed targeted metabolomic analyses of key metabolic byproducts of glucose, fatty acid, and amino acid metabolism in mice with global knockouts (KOs) of SRC-1, SRC-2, or SRC-3. We measured amino acids, acyl carnitines, and organic acids in five tissues with key metabolic functions (liver, heart, skeletal muscle, brain, plasma) isolated from SRC-1, -2, or -3 KO mice and their wild-type littermates under fed and fasted conditions, thereby unveiling unique metabolic functions of each SRC. Specifically, SRC-1 ablation revealed the most significant impact on hepatic metabolism, whereas SRC-2 appeared to impact cardiac metabolism. Conversely, ablation of SRC-3 primarily affected brain and skeletal muscle metabolism. Surprisingly, we identified very few metabolites that changed universally across the three SRC KO models. The findings of this Research Resource demonstrate that coactivator function has very limited metabolic redundancy even within the homologous SRC family. Furthermore, this work also demonstrates the use of metabolomics as a means for identifying novel metabolic regulatory functions of transcriptional coregulators.
Marginal deficiency of vitamin B-6 is common among segments of the population worldwide. Because pyridoxal 5-phosphate (PLP) serves as a coenzyme in the metabolism of amino acids, carbohydrates, organic acids, and neurotransmitters, as well as in aspects of one-carbon metabolism, vitamin B-6 deficiency could have many effects. Healthy men and women (age: 20-40 y; n?=?23) were fed a 2-day controlled, nutritionally adequate diet followed by a 28-day low-vitamin B-6 diet (<0.5 mg/d) to induce marginal deficiency, as reflected by a decline of plasma PLP from 52.6±14.1 (mean ± SD) to 21.5±4.6 nmol/L (P<0.0001) and increased cystathionine from 131±65 to 199±56 nmol/L (P<0.001). Fasting plasma samples obtained before and after vitamin B6 restriction were analyzed by (1)H-NMR with and without filtration and by targeted quantitative analysis by mass spectrometry (MS). Multilevel partial least squares-discriminant analysis and S-plots of NMR spectra showed that NMR is effective in classifying samples according to vitamin B-6 status and identified discriminating features. NMR spectral features of selected metabolites indicated that vitamin B-6 restriction significantly increased the ratios of glutamine/glutamate and 2-oxoglutarate/glutamate (P<0.001) and tended to increase concentrations of acetate, pyruvate, and trimethylamine-N-oxide (adjusted P<0.05). Tandem MS showed significantly greater plasma proline after vitamin B-6 restriction (adjusted P<0.05), but there were no effects on the profile of 14 other amino acids and 45 acylcarnitines. These findings demonstrate that marginal vitamin B-6 deficiency has widespread metabolic perturbations and illustrate the utility of metabolomics in evaluating complex effects of altered vitamin B-6 intake.
Understanding how the human gut microbiota and host are affected by probiotic bacterial strains requires carefully controlled studies in humans and in mouse models of the gut ecosystem where potentially confounding variables that are difficult to control in humans can be constrained. Therefore, we characterized the fecal microbiomes and metatranscriptomes of adult female monozygotic twin pairs through repeated sampling 4 weeks before, 7 weeks during, and 4 weeks after consumption of a commercially available fermented milk product (FMP) containing a consortium of Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis, two strains of Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus, Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris, and Streptococcus thermophilus. In addition, gnotobiotic mice harboring a 15-species model human gut microbiota whose genomes contain 58,399 known or predicted protein-coding genes were studied before and after gavage with all five sequenced FMP strains. No significant changes in bacterial species composition or in the proportional representation of genes encoding known enzymes were observed in the feces of humans consuming the FMP. Only minimal changes in microbiota configuration were noted in mice after single or repeated gavage with the FMP consortium. However, RNA-Seq analysis of fecal samples and follow-up mass spectrometry of urinary metabolites disclosed that introducing the FMP strains into mice results in significant changes in expression of microbiome-encoded enzymes involved in numerous metabolic pathways, most prominently those related to carbohydrate metabolism. B. animalis subsp. lactis, the dominant persistent member of the FMP consortium in gnotobiotic mice, up-regulates a locus in vivo that is involved in the catabolism of xylooligosaccharides, a class of glycans widely distributed in fruits, vegetables, and other foods, underscoring the importance of these sugars to this bacterial species. The human fecal metatranscriptome exhibited significant changes, confined to the period of FMP consumption, that mirror changes in gnotobiotic mice, including those related to plant polysaccharide metabolism. These experiments illustrate a translational research pipeline for characterizing the effects of FMPs on the human gut microbiome.
Metabolic profiling holds promise for early detection of coronary artery disease and assessing risk for ischemic events. Heparin is frequently administered (1) to treat acute coronary syndromes; and (2) during routine cardiac catheterization procedures. Because it stimulates lipolysis, heparin is a potential confounder of metabolic profiling in these populations.
Acetylation is increasingly recognized as an important metabolic regulatory posttranslational protein modification, yet the metabolic consequence of mitochondrial protein hyperacetylation is unknown. We find that high-fat diet (HFD) feeding induces hepatic mitochondrial protein hyperacetylation in mice and downregulation of the major mitochondrial protein deacetylase SIRT3. Mice lacking SIRT3 (SIRT3KO) placed on a HFD show accelerated obesity, insulin resistance, hyperlipidemia, and steatohepatitis compared to wild-type (WT) mice. The lipogenic enzyme stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 is highly induced in SIRT3KO mice, and its deletion rescues both WT and SIRT3KO mice from HFD-induced hepatic steatosis and insulin resistance. We further identify a single nucleotide polymorphism in the human SIRT3 gene that is suggestive of a genetic association with the metabolic syndrome. This polymorphism encodes a point mutation in the SIRT3 protein, which reduces its overall enzymatic efficiency. Our findings show that loss of SIRT3 and dysregulation of mitochondrial protein acetylation contribute to the metabolic syndrome.
Type 2 diabetes is an epidemic disease worldwide, but it is difficult to predict its appearance in the general population. A recent study demonstrates that circulating concentrations of a small group of essential amino acids predict risk for diabetes, contributing to a recent resurgence of interest in these common analytes.
Glycemic control is improved more after gastric bypass surgery (GBP) than after equivalent diet-induced weight loss in patients with morbid obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus. We applied metabolomic profiling to understand the mechanisms of this better metabolic response after GBP. Circulating amino acids (AAs) and acylcarnitines (ACs) were measured in plasma from fasted subjects by targeted tandem mass spectrometry before and after a matched 10-kilogram weight loss induced by GBP or diet. Total AAs and branched-chain AAs (BCAAs) decreased after GBP, but not after dietary intervention. Metabolites derived from BCAA oxidation also decreased only after GBP. Principal components (PC) analysis identified two major PCs, one composed almost exclusively of ACs (PC1) and another with BCAAs and their metabolites as major contributors (PC2). PC1 and PC2 were inversely correlated with pro-insulin concentrations, the C-peptide response to oral glucose, and the insulin sensitivity index after weight loss, whereas PC2 was uniquely correlated with levels of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). These data suggest that the enhanced decrease in circulating AAs after GBP occurs by mechanisms other than weight loss and may contribute to the better improvement in glucose homeostasis observed with the surgical intervention.
UFM1 is a member of the ubiquitin like protein family. While the enzymatic cascade of UFM1 conjugation has been elucidated in recent years, the biological function remains largely unknown. In this report we demonstrate that the recently identified C20orf116, which we name UFM1-binding protein 1 containing a PCI domain (UFBP1), and CDK5RAP3 interact with UFM1. Components of the UFM1 conjugation pathway (UFM1, UFBP1, UFL1 and CDK5RAP3) are highly expressed in pancreatic islets of Langerhans and some other secretory tissues. Co-localization of UFM1 with UFBP1 in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) depends on UFBP1. We demonstrate that ER stress, which is common in secretory cells, induces expression of Ufm1, Ufbp1 and Ufl1 in the beta-cell line INS-1E. siRNA-mediated Ufm1 or Ufbp1 knockdown enhances apoptosis upon ER stress. Silencing the E3 enzyme UFL1, results in similar outcomes, suggesting that UFM1-UFBP1 conjugation is required to prevent ER stress-induced apoptosis. Together, our data suggest that UFM1-UFBP1 participate in preventing ER stress-induced apoptosis in protein secretory cells.
Obesity has reached epidemic proportions worldwide and reports estimate that American children consume up to 25% of calories from snacks. Several animal models of obesity exist, but studies are lacking that compare high-fat diets (HFD) traditionally used in rodent models of diet-induced obesity (DIO) to diets consisting of food regularly consumed by humans, including high-salt, high-fat, low-fiber, energy dense foods such as cookies, chips, and processed meats. To investigate the obesogenic and inflammatory consequences of a cafeteria diet (CAF) compared to a lard-based 45% HFD in rodent models, male Wistar rats were fed HFD, CAF or chow control diets for 15 weeks. Body weight increased dramatically and remained significantly elevated in CAF-fed rats compared to all other diets. Glucose- and insulin-tolerance tests revealed that hyperinsulinemia, hyperglycemia, and glucose intolerance were exaggerated in the CAF-fed rats compared to controls and HFD-fed rats. It is well-established that macrophages infiltrate metabolic tissues at the onset of weight gain and directly contribute to inflammation, insulin resistance, and obesity. Although both high fat diets resulted in increased adiposity and hepatosteatosis, CAF-fed rats displayed remarkable inflammation in white fat, brown fat and liver compared to HFD and controls. In sum, the CAF provided a robust model of human metabolic syndrome compared to traditional lard-based HFD, creating a phenotype of exaggerated obesity with glucose intolerance and inflammation. This model provides a unique platform to study the biochemical, genomic and physiological mechanisms of obesity and obesity-related disease states that are pandemic in western civilization today.
Homeostatic maintenance of cellular mitochondria requires a dynamic balance between fission and fusion, and controlled changes in morphology are important for processes such as apoptosis and cellular division. Interphase mitochondria have been described as an interconnected network that fragments as cells enter mitosis, and this mitotic mitochondrial fragmentation is known to be regulated by the dynamin-related GTPase Drp1 (dynamin-related protein 1), a key component of the mitochondrial division machinery. Loss of Drp1 function and the subsequent failure of mitochondrial division during mitosis lead to incomplete cytokinesis and the unequal distribution of mitochondria into daughter cells. During mitotic exit and interphase, the mitochondrial network reforms. Here we demonstrate that changes in mitochondrial dynamics as cells exit mitosis are driven in part through ubiquitylation of Drp1, catalyzed by the APC/C(Cdh1) (anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome and its coactivator Cdh1) E3 ubiquitin ligase complex. Importantly, inhibition of Cdh1-mediated Drp1 ubiquitylation and proteasomal degradation during interphase prevents the normal G1 phase regrowth of mitochondrial networks following cell division.
The objective of the study was to evaluate whether serum concentrations of metabolic intermediates are related to adiposity and insulin sensitivity (Si) in overweight healthy subjects and compare changes in metabolic intermediates with similar weight loss achieved by diet only or diet plus exercise.
Insulin sensitivity is higher in patients with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) than in body mass index-matched obese controls (OCs). Factors contributing to the heightened insulin sensitivity of PWS remain obscure. We compared the fasting levels of various hormones, cytokines, lipids, and liver function tests in 14 PWS patients and 14 OCs with those in 14 age- and gender-matched lean children (LC). We hypothesized that metabolic profiles of children with PWS are comparable with those of LC, but different from those of OCs.
To understand relationships between exercise training-mediated improvements in insulin sensitivity (S(I)) and changes in circulating concentrations of metabolic intermediates, hormones, and inflammatory mediators.
Profound abnormalities in myocardial energy metabolism occur in heart failure and correlate with clinical symptoms and survival. Available comprehensive human metabolic data come from small studies, enrolling patients across heart failure causes, at different disease stages, and using different methodologies, and is often contradictory. Remaining fundamental gaps in knowledge include whether observed shifts in cardiac substrate utilization are adaptive or maladaptive, causal or an epiphenomenon of heart failure.
Fermenting microbial communities generate hydrogen; its removal through the production of acetate, methane, or hydrogen sulfide modulates the efficiency of energy extraction from available nutrients in many ecosystems. We noted that pathway components for acetogenesis are more abundantly and consistently represented in the gut microbiomes of monozygotic twins and their mothers than components for methanogenesis or sulfate reduction and subsequently analyzed the metabolic potential of two sequenced human gut acetogens, Blautia hydrogenotrophica and Marvinbryantia formatexigens in vitro and in the intestines of gnotobiotic mice harboring a prominent saccharolytic bacterium. To do so, we developed a generally applicable method for multiplex sequencing of expressed microbial mRNAs (microbial RNA-Seq) and, together with mass spectrometry of metabolites, showed that these organisms have distinct patterns of substrate utilization. B. hydrogenotrophica targets aliphatic and aromatic amino acids. It increases the efficiency of fermentation by consuming reducing equivalents, thereby maintaining a high NAD(+)/NADH ratio and boosting acetate production. In contrast, M. formatexigens consumes oligosaccharides, does not impact the redox state of the gut, and boosts the yield of succinate. These findings have strategic implications for those who wish to manipulate the hydrogen economy of gut microbial communities in ways that modulate energy harvest.
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) haploinsufficiency is associated with hyperphagia and obesity in both animals and humans. BDNF appears to function downstream of the leptin-melanocortin signaling pathway to control energy balance. The potential role of BDNF in the etiology of the severe hyperphagia associated with PWS has not been previously explored.
New technology has provided methods for collecting large amounts of data reflecting gene expression, metabolite and protein abundance, and post-translational modification of proteins. Integration of these various data sets enable the genetic mapping of many new phenotypes and facilitates the creation of network models that link genetic variation with intermediate traits leading to human disease. The first round of genome-wide association studies has not accounted for common human diseases to the extent that was expected. New phenotyping approaches and methods of data integration should bring these studies closer to their promised goals.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and aging are characterized by insulin resistance and impaired mitochondrial energetics. In lower organisms, remodeling by the protease pcp1 (PARL ortholog) maintains the function and lifecycle of mitochondria. We examined whether variation in PARL protein content is associated with mitochondrial abnormalities and insulin resistance. PARL mRNA and mitochondrial mass were both reduced in elderly subjects and in subjects with T2DM. Muscle knockdown of PARL in mice resulted in malformed mitochondrial cristae, lower mitochondrial content, decreased PGC1alpha protein levels, and impaired insulin signaling. Suppression of PARL protein in healthy myotubes lowered mitochondrial mass and insulin-stimulated glycogen synthesis and increased reactive oxygen species production. We propose that lower PARL expression may contribute to the mitochondrial abnormalities seen in aging and T2DM.
Glucose-stimulated insulin secretion from pancreatic islet beta-cells is dependent in part on pyruvate cycling through the pyruvate/isocitrate pathway, which generates cytosolic alpha-ketoglutarate, also known as 2-oxoglutarate (2OG). Here, we have investigated if mitochondrial transport of 2OG through the 2-oxoglutarate carrier (OGC) participates in control of nutrient-stimulated insulin secretion. Suppression of OGC in clonal pancreatic beta-cells (832/13 cells) and isolated rat islets by adenovirus-mediated delivery of small interfering RNA significantly decreased glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. OGC suppression also reduced insulin secretion in response to glutamine plus the glutamate dehydrogenase activator 2-amino-2-norbornane carboxylic acid. Nutrient-stimulated increases in glucose usage, glucose oxidation, glutamine oxidation, or ATP:ADP ratio were not affected by OGC knockdown, whereas suppression of OGC resulted in a significant decrease in the NADPH:NADP(+) ratio during stimulation with glucose but not glutamine + 2-amino-2-norbornane carboxylic acid. Finally, OGC suppression reduced insulin secretion in response to a membrane-permeant 2OG analog, dimethyl-2OG. These data reveal that the OGC is part of a mechanism of fuel-stimulated insulin secretion that is common to glucose, amino acid, and organic acid secretagogues, involving flux through the pyruvate/isocitrate cycling pathway. Although the components of this pathway must remain intact for appropriate stimulus-secretion coupling, production of NADPH does not appear to be the universal second messenger signal generated by these reactions.
Recent studies have implicated Epac2, a guanine-nucleotide exchange factor for the Rap subfamily of monomeric G proteins, as an important regulator of insulin secretion from pancreatic beta-cells. Although the Epac proteins were originally identified as cAMP-responsive activators of Rap1 GTPases, the role of Rap1 in beta-cell biology has not yet been defined. In this study, we examined the direct effects of Rap1 signaling on beta-cell biology. Using the Ins-1 rat insulinoma line, we demonstrate that activated Rap1A, but not related monomeric G proteins, promotes ribosomal protein S6 phosphorylation. Using isolated rat islets, we show that this signaling event is rapamycin-sensitive, indicating that it is mediated by the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1-p70 S6 kinase pathway, a known growth regulatory pathway. This newly defined beta-cell signaling pathway acts downstream of cAMP, in parallel with the stimulation of cAMP-dependent protein kinase, to drive ribosomal protein S6 phosphorylation. Activated Rap1A promotes glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, islet cell hypertrophy, and islet cell proliferation, the latter exclusively through mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1, suggesting that Rap1 is an important regulator of beta-cell function. This newly defined signaling pathway may yield unique targets for the treatment of beta-cell dysfunction in diabetes.
Parasympathetic stimulation of pancreatic islets augments glucose-stimulated insulin secretion by inducing inositol trisphosphate receptor (IP(3)R)-mediated calcium ion (Ca2+) release. Ankyrin-B binds to the IP(3)R and is enriched in pancreatic beta cells. We found that ankyrin-B-deficient islets displayed impaired potentiation of insulin secretion by the muscarinic agonist carbachol, blunted carbachol-mediated intracellular Ca2+ release, and reduced the abundance of IP3R. Ankyrin-B-haploinsufficient mice exhibited hyperglycemia after oral ingestion but not after intraperitoneal injection of glucose, consistent with impaired parasympathetic potentiation of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. The R1788W mutation of ankyrin-B impaired its function in pancreatic islets and is associated with type 2 diabetes in Caucasians and Hispanics. Thus, defective glycemic regulation through loss of ankyrin-B-dependent stabilization of IP3R is a potential risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
Gluconeogenesis makes a major contribution to hepatic glucose production, a process critical for survival in mammals. In this study, we identify the p160 family member, SRC-1, as a key coordinator of the hepatic gluconeogenic program in vivo. SRC-1-null mice displayed hypoglycemia secondary to a deficit in hepatic glucose production. Selective re-expression of SRC-1 in the liver restored blood glucose levels to a normal range. SRC-1 was found induced upon fasting to coordinate in a cell-autonomous manner, the gene expression of rate-limiting enzymes of the gluconeogenic pathway. At the molecular level, the main role of SRC-1 was to modulate the expression and the activity of C/EBP? through a feed-forward loop in which SRC-1 used C/EBP? to transactivate pyruvate carboxylase, a crucial gene for initiation of the gluconeogenic program. We propose that SRC-1 acts as a critical mediator of glucose homeostasis in the liver by adjusting the transcriptional activity of key genes involved in the hepatic glucose production machinery.
Sirtuins are NAD(+)-dependent protein deacetylases. They mediate adaptive responses to a variety of stresses, including calorie restriction and metabolic stress. Sirtuin 3 (SIRT3) is localized in the mitochondrial matrix, where it regulates the acetylation levels of metabolic enzymes, including acetyl coenzyme A synthetase 2 (refs 1, 2). Mice lacking both Sirt3 alleles appear phenotypically normal under basal conditions, but show marked hyperacetylation of several mitochondrial proteins. Here we report that SIRT3 expression is upregulated during fasting in liver and brown adipose tissues. During fasting, livers from mice lacking SIRT3 had higher levels of fatty-acid oxidation intermediate products and triglycerides, associated with decreased levels of fatty-acid oxidation, compared to livers from wild-type mice. Mass spectrometry of mitochondrial proteins shows that long-chain acyl coenzyme A dehydrogenase (LCAD) is hyperacetylated at lysine 42 in the absence of SIRT3. LCAD is deacetylated in wild-type mice under fasted conditions and by SIRT3 in vitro and in vivo; and hyperacetylation of LCAD reduces its enzymatic activity. Mice lacking SIRT3 exhibit hallmarks of fatty-acid oxidation disorders during fasting, including reduced ATP levels and intolerance to cold exposure. These findings identify acetylation as a novel regulatory mechanism for mitochondrial fatty-acid oxidation and demonstrate that SIRT3 modulates mitochondrial intermediary metabolism and fatty-acid use during fasting.
In nonobese diabetic mice with uncontrolled type 1 diabetes, leptin therapy alone or combined with low-dose insulin reverses the catabolic state through suppression of hyperglucagonemia. Additionally, it mimics the anabolic actions of insulin monotherapy and normalizes hemoglobin A1c with far less glucose variability. We show that leptin therapy, like insulin, normalizes the levels of a wide array of hepatic intermediary metabolites in multiple chemical classes, including acylcarnitines, organic acids (tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates), amino acids, and acyl CoAs. In contrast to insulin monotherapy, however, leptin lowers both lipogenic and cholesterologenic transcription factors and enzymes and reduces plasma and tissue lipids. The results imply that leptin administration may have multiple short- and long-term advantages over insulin monotherapy for type 1 diabetes.
We have previously reported that adenovirus-mediated expression of preprocholecystokin (CCK) stimulates human and mouse islet cell proliferation. In follow-up studies, we became concerned that the CCK adenovirus might have been contaminated with a wild-type E1A-containing adenovirus. Here we show conclusively that the proliferative effects reported in the original paper in mouse and human islets were not due to CCK expression but rather to a contaminating E1A-expressing wild-type adenovirus. We also show, however, that CCK expression does have a proliferative effect in rat islets. We hope that our report of the steps taken to detect the wild-type virus contamination, and purification of the contributing viral stocks, will be helpful to other investigators, and that our experience will serve as a cautionary tale for use of adenovirus vectors, especially for studies on cellular replication.
GRP94, the endoplasmic reticulum Hsp90, is a metazoan-restricted chaperone essential for early development in mammals, yet dispensable for mammalian cell viability. This dichotomy suggests that GRP94 is required for the functional expression of secretory and/or membrane proteins that enable the integration of cells into tissues. To explore this hypothesis, we have identified the Drosophila ortholog of GRP94, Gp93, and report that Gp93 is an essential gene in Drosophila. Loss of zygotic Gp93 expression is late larval-lethal and causes prominent defects in the larval midgut, the sole endoderm-derived larval tissue. Gp93 mutant larvae display pronounced defects in the midgut epithelium, with aberrant copper cell structure, markedly reduced gut acidification, atypical septate junction structure, depressed gut motility, and deficits in intestinal nutrient uptake. The metabolic consequences of the loss of Gp93-expression are profound; Gp93 mutant larvae exhibit a starvation-like metabolic phenotype, including suppression of insulin signaling and extensive mobilization of amino acids and triglycerides. The defects in copper cell structure/function accompanying loss of Gp93 expression resemble those reported for mutations in labial, an endodermal homeotic gene required for copper cell specification, and alpha-spectrin, thus suggesting an essential role for Gp93 in the functional expression of secretory/integral membrane protein-encoding lab protein target genes and/or integral membrane protein(s) that interact with the spectrin cytoskeleton to confer epithelial membrane specialization.
Constitutive androstane receptor CAR (NR1I3) has been identified as a central mediator of coordinate responses to xenobiotic and endobiotic stress. Here we use leptin-deficient mice (ob/ob) and ob/ob, CAR(-/-) double mutant mice to identify a metabolic role of CAR in type 2 diabetes. Activation of CAR significantly reduces serum glucose levels and improves glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. Gene expression analyses and hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp results suggest that CAR activation ameliorates hyperglycemia by suppressing glucose production and stimulating glucose uptake and usage in the liver. In addition, CAR activation dramatically improves fatty liver by both inhibition of hepatic lipogenesis and induction of beta-oxidation. We conclude that CAR activation improves type 2 diabetes, and that these actions of CAR suggest therapeutic approaches to the disease.
Nkx2.2 and NeuroD1 are two critical regulators of pancreatic beta cell development. Nkx2.2 is a homeodomain transcription factor that is essential for islet cell type specification and mature beta cell function. NeuroD1 is a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor that is critical for islet beta cell maturation and maintenance. Although both proteins influence beta cell development directly downstream of the endocrine progenitor factor, neurogenin3 (Ngn3), a connection between the two proteins in the regulation of beta cell fate and function has yet to be established. In this study, we demonstrate that Nkx2.2 transcriptional activity is required to facilitate the activation of NeuroD1 by Ngn3. Furthermore, Nkx2.2 is necessary to maintain high levels of NeuroD1 expression in developing mouse and zebrafish islets and in mature beta cells. Interestingly, Nkx2.2 regulates NeuroD1 through two independent promoter elements, one that is bound and activated directly by Nkx2.2 and one that appears to be regulated by Nkx2.2 through an indirect mechanism. Together, these findings suggest that Nkx2.2 coordinately activates NeuroD1 with Ngn3 within the endocrine progenitor cell and also plays a role in the maintenance of NeuroD1 expression to regulate beta cell function in the mature islet. Collectively, these findings further define the conserved regulatory networks involved in islet beta cell formation and function.
Nur77 is an orphan nuclear receptor with pleotropic functions. Previous studies have identified Nur77 as a transcriptional regulator of glucose utilization genes in skeletal muscle and gluconeogenesis in liver. However, the net functional impact of these pathways is unknown. To examine the consequence of Nur77 signaling for glucose metabolism in vivo, we challenged Nur77 null mice with high-fat feeding.
The therapeutic efficacy of histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACI) is generally attributed to their ability to alter gene expression secondary to their effects on the acetylation status of transcription factors and histones. However, because HDACIs exhibit similar transcriptional effects in most cells, the molecular basis for their therapeutic selectivity toward malignant cells is largely unknown. In this study, we report that HDACI, of distinct chemotypes, quantitatively inhibit glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1)-mediated glucose transport into multiple myeloma cells through both down-regulation of GLUT1 and inhibition of hexokinase 1 (HXK1) enzymatic activity. Unexpectedly, however, this inhibition of glucose utilization is accompanied by an increase in amino acid catabolism with no increase in fatty acid oxidation. Our findings suggest that an HDACI-induced change in carbon source preference could contribute to the therapeutic efficacy of these drugs by creating a pattern of fuel utilization that is incompatible with rapid tumor growth and survival. Furthermore, these results, which implicate glucose metabolism as a target of HDACI, suggest that caution should be exercised in attributing effects of this class of drug to primary alterations in gene transcription.
The transcriptional coactivator peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator (PGC)-1alpha is involved in the coordinate induction of changes in gene expression in the liver that enable a homeostatic response to alterations in metabolic state, environmental cues, and nutrient availability. In exploring the specific pathways under PGC-1alpha regulation in the liver, we have made the surprising observation that this coactivator can induce the expression of CYP11A1 and CYP17A1, key rate-limiting enzymes involved in the initial steps of steroidogenesis. Both of these enzymes function to produce C(19)-steroids, converting cholesterol into pregnenolone, and then to dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). Estrogen-related receptor (ERR)-alpha mediates PGC-1alphas induction of CYP11A1 and binds within the first intron of the CYP11A1 gene. Both ERR-alpha and hepatocyte nuclear factor-4alpha are required for PGC-1alpha-mediated induction of CYP17A1, and specific binding sites for these receptors have been identified in the regulatory regions of this gene. The potential physiological significance of these observations was highlighted in rats where fasting induced hepatic expression of PGC-1alpha and CYP17A1 and was associated with an increase in hepatic levels of DHEA. These data suggest that DHEA could be playing a role as an intracellular signaling molecule involved in modulating hepatic activity in response to fasting conditions.
Human myocardial metabolism has been incompletely characterized in the setting of surgical cardioplegic arrest and ischemia/reperfusion. Furthermore, the effect of preexisting ventricular state on ischemia-induced metabolic derangements has not been established.
The Study of the Effects of Diet on Metabolism and Nutrition (STEDMAN) Project uses comprehensive metabolic profiling to probe biochemical mechanisms of weight loss in humans. Measurements at baseline, 2 and 4 weeks, 6 and 12 months included diet, body composition, metabolic rate, hormones, and 80 intermediary metabolites measured by mass spectrometry. In 27 obese adults in a behavioral weight loss intervention, median weight decreased 13.9 lb over the first 6 months, then reverted towards baseline by 12 months. Insulin resistance (HOMA) was partially ameliorated in the first 6 months and showed sustained improvement at 12 months despite weight regain. Ghrelin increased with weight loss and reverted to baseline, whereas leptin and PYY fell at 6 months and remained persistently low. NPY levels did not change. Factors possibly contributing to sustained improvement in insulin sensitivity despite weight regain include adiponectin (increased by 12 months), IGF-1 (increased during weight loss and continued to increase during weight regain), and visceral fat (fell at 6 months but did not change thereafter). We observed a persistent reduction in free fatty acids, branched chain amino acids, and related metabolites that may contribute to improved insulin action. These findings provide evidence for sustained benefits of weight loss in obese humans and insights into mechanisms.
Collectrin is a downstream target of the transcription factor hepatocyte nuclear factor-1alpha (HNF-1alpha), which is mutated in maturity-onset diabetes of the young subtype 3 (MODY3). Evidence from transgenic mouse models with collectrin overexpression in pancreatic islets suggests divergent roles for collectrin in influencing beta-cell mass and insulin exocytosis. To clarify the function of collectrin in the pancreas, we used a mouse line with targeted deletion of the gene. We examined pancreas morphology, glucose homeostasis by ip glucose tolerance testing (IPGTT) and insulin tolerance testing (IPITT), and pancreas function by in vivo acute-phase insulin response determination and glucose-stimulated insulin secretion from isolated islets. We find no difference in either pancreas morphology or function between wild-type and collectrin-deficient animals (Tmem27(-/y)). However, we note that by 6 months of age, Tmem27(-/y) mice exhibit increased insulin sensitivity by IPITT and decreased adiposity by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry scanning compared with wild-type. We have previously reported that Tmem27(-/y) mice exhibit profound aminoaciduria due to failed renal recovery. We now demonstrate that Tmem27(-/y) animals also display inappropriate excretion of some short-chain acylcarnitines derived from amino acid and fatty acid oxidation. We provide further evidence for compensatory up-regulation of oxidative metabolism in Tmem27(-/y) mice, along with enhanced protein turnover associated with preserved lean mass even out to 1.5 yr of age. Our studies suggest that collectrin-deficient mice activate a number of adaptive mechanisms to defend energy homeostasis in the setting of ongoing nutrient losses.
Metabolomic profiling of obese versus lean humans reveals a branched-chain amino acid (BCAA)-related metabolite signature that is suggestive of increased catabolism of BCAA and correlated with insulin resistance. To test its impact on metabolic homeostasis, we fed rats on high-fat (HF), HF with supplemented BCAA (HF/BCAA), or standard chow (SC) diets. Despite having reduced food intake and a low rate of weight gain equivalent to the SC group, HF/BCAA rats were as insulin resistant as HF rats. Pair-feeding of HF diet to match the HF/BCAA animals or BCAA addition to SC diet did not cause insulin resistance. Insulin resistance induced by HF/BCAA feeding was accompanied by chronic phosphorylation of mTOR, JNK, and IRS1Ser307 and by accumulation of multiple acylcarnitines in muscle, and it was reversed by the mTOR inhibitor, rapamycin. Our findings show that in the context of a dietary pattern that includes high fat consumption, BCAA contributes to development of obesity-associated insulin resistance.
Integration of genetic and metabolic profiling holds promise for providing insight into human disease. Coronary artery disease (CAD) is strongly heritable, but the heritability of metabolomic profiles has not been evaluated in humans. We performed quantitative mass spectrometry-based metabolic profiling in 117 individuals within eight multiplex families from the GENECARD study of premature CAD. Heritabilities were calculated using variance components. We found high heritabilities for amino acids (arginine, ornithine, alanine, proline, leucine/isoleucine, valine, glutamate/glutamine, phenylalanine and glycine; h(2)=0.33-0.80, P=0.005-1.9 x 10(-16)), free fatty acids (arachidonic, palmitic, linoleic; h(2)=0.48-0.59, P=0.002-0.00005) and acylcarnitines (h(2)=0.23-0.79, P=0.05-0.0000002). Principal components analysis was used to identify metabolite clusters. Reflecting individual metabolites, several components were heritable, including components comprised of ketones, beta-hydroxybutyrate and C2-acylcarnitine (h(2)=0.61); short- and medium-chain acylcarnitines (h(2)=0.39); amino acids (h(2)=0.44); long-chain acylcarnitines (h(2)=0.39) and branched-chain amino acids (h(2)=0.27). We report a novel finding of high heritabilities of metabolites in premature CAD, establishing a possible genetic basis for these profiles. These results have implications for understanding CAD pathophysiology and genetics.
Glycine is a precursor of purines, protein, glutathione, and 1-carbon units as 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate. Glycine decarboxylation through the glycine cleavage system (GCS) and glycine-serine transformation by serine hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT) require pyridoxal 5-phosphate (PLP; active form of vitamin B-6) as a coenzyme. The intake of vitamin B-6 is frequently low in humans. Therefore, we determined the effects of vitamin B-6 restriction on whole-body glycine flux, the rate of glycine decarboxylation, glycine-to-serine conversion, use of glycine carbons in nucleoside synthesis, and other aspects of 1-carbon metabolism. We used a primed, constant infusion of [1,2-(13)C(2)]glycine and [5,5,5-(2)H(3)]leucine to quantify in vivo kinetics in healthy adults (7 males, 6 females; 20-39 y) of normal vitamin B-6 status or marginal vitamin B-6 deficiency. Vitamin B-6 restriction lowered the plasma PLP concentration from 55 +/- 4 nmol/L (mean +/- SEM) to 23 +/- 1 nmol/L (P < 0.0001), which is consistent with marginal deficiency, whereas the plasma glycine concentration increased (P < 0.01). SHMT-mediated conversion of glycine to serine increased from 182 +/- 7 to 205 +/- 9 micromol x kg(-1) x h(-1) (P < 0.05), but serine production using a GCS-derived 1-carbon unit (93 +/- 9 vs. 91 +/- 6 micromol x kg(-1) x h(-1)) and glycine cleavage (163 +/- 11 vs. 151 +/- 8 micromol x kg(-1) x h(-1)) were not changed by vitamin B-6 restriction. The GCS produced 1-carbon units at a rate (approximately 140-170 micromol x kg(-1) x h(-1)) that greatly exceeds the demand for remethylation and transmethylation processes (approximately 4-7 micromol x kg(-1) x h(-1)). We conclude that the in vivo GCS and SHMT reactions are quite resilient to the effects of marginal vitamin B-6 deficiency, presumably through a compensatory effect of increasing substrate concentration.
Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is a strong candidate gene for coronary artery disease (CAD). We have previously identified genetic linkage to familial CAD in the genomic region of NPY. We performed follow-up genetic, biostatistical, and functional analysis of NPY in early-onset CAD. In familial CAD (GENECARD, N = 420 families), we found increased microsatellite linkage to chromosome 7p14 (OSA LOD = 4.2, p = 0.004) in 97 earliest age-of-onset families. Tagged NPY SNPs demonstrated linkage to CAD of a 6-SNP block (LOD = 1.58-2.72), family-based association of this block with CAD (p = 0.02), and stronger linkage to CAD in the earliest age-of-onset families. Association of this 6-SNP block with CAD was validated in: (a) 556 non-familial early-onset CAD cases and 256 controls (OR 1.46-1.65, p = 0.01-0.05), showing stronger association in youngest cases (OR 1.84-2.20, p = 0.0004-0.09); and (b) GENECARD probands versus non-familial controls (OR 1.79-2.06, p = 0.003-0.02). A promoter SNP (rs16147) within this 6-SNP block was associated with higher plasma NPY levels (p = 0.04). To assess a causal role of NPY in atherosclerosis, we applied the NPY1-receptor-antagonist BIBP-3226 adventitially to endothelium-denuded carotid arteries of apolipoprotein E-deficient mice; treatment reduced atherosclerotic neointimal area by 50% (p = 0.03). Thus, NPY variants associate with atherosclerosis in two independent datasets (with strong age-of-onset effects) and show allele-specific expression with NPY levels, while NPY receptor antagonism reduces atherosclerosis in mice. We conclude that NPY contributes to atherosclerosis pathogenesis.
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