Abstract: Volatile metabolites from mold contamination have been proposed for the early identification of toxigenic fungi to prevent toxicological risks, but there are no such data available for Fusarium poae.F. poae is one of the species complexes involved in Fusarium head blight, a cereal disease that results in significant yield losses and quality reductions. The identification of volatile organic compounds associated with F. poae metabolism could provide good markers to indicate early fungal contamination. To this aim, we evaluated the volatile profile of healthy and F. poae-infected durum wheat kernels by SPME-GC/MS analysis. The production of volatile metabolites was monitored for seven days, and the time course analysis of key volatiles was determined. A total of 29 volatile markers were selected among the detected compounds, and multivariate analysis was applied to establish the relationship between potential volatile markers and fungal contamination. A range of volatile compounds, including alcohols, ketones, esters, furans and aromatics, were identified, both in contaminated and in healthy kernels. However, the overall volatile profile of infected samples and controls differed, indicating that the whole volatile profile, rather than individual volatile compounds, could be used to identify F. poae contamination of durum wheat grains.
Abstract: Breath analysis has long been recognized as a potentially attractive method for the diagnosis of several diseases. The main advantage over other diagnostic methods such as blood or urine analysis is that breath analysis is fully non-invasive, comfortable for patients and breath samples can be easily obtained. One possible future application of breath analysis may be the diagnosing and monitoring of diabetes. It is, therefore, essential, to firstly determine a relationship between exhaled biomarker concentration and glucose in blood as well as to compare the results with the results obtained from non-diabetic subjects. Concentrations of molecules which are biomarkers of diseases’ states, or early indicators of disease should be well documented, i.e., the variations of abnormal concentrations of breath biomarkers with age, gender and ethnic issues need to be verified. Furthermore, based on performed measurements it is rather obvious that analysis of exhaled acetone as a single biomarker of diabetes is unrealistic. In this paper, the author presents results of his research conducted on samples of breath gas from eleven healthy volunteers (HV) and fourteen type- 1 diabetic patients (T1DM) which were collected in 1-l SKC breath bags. The exhaled acetone concentration was measured using mass spectrometry (HPR-20 QIC, Hiden Analytical, Warrington, UK) coupled with a micropreconcentrator in LTCC (Low Temperature Cofired Ceramic). However, as according to recent studies the level of acetone varies to a significant extent for each blood glucose concentration of single individuals, a direct and absolute relationship between blood glucose and acetone has not been proved. Nevertheless, basing on the research results acetone in diabetic breath was found to be higher than 1.11 ppmv, while its average concentration in normal breath was lower than 0.83 ppmv.
Metabolites2014, 4(4), 889-920; doi:10.3390/metabo4040889 - published 30 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Crop production is highly sensitive to elevated temperatures. A rise of a few degrees above the optimum growing temperature can lead to a dramatic yield loss. A predicted increase of 1–3 degrees in the twenty first century urges breeders to develop thermo-tolerant crops which are tolerant to high temperatures. Breeding for thermo-tolerance is a challenge due to the low heritability of this trait. A better understanding of heat stress tolerance and the development of reliable methods to phenotype thermo-tolerance are key factors for a successful breeding approach. Plant reproduction is the most temperature-sensitive process in the plant life cycle. More precisely, pollen quality is strongly affected by heat stress conditions. High temperature leads to a decrease of pollen viability which is directly correlated with a loss of fruit production. The reduction in pollen viability is associated with changes in the level and composition of several (groups of) metabolites, which play an important role in pollen development, for example by contributing to pollen nutrition or by providing protection to environmental stresses. This review aims to underline the importance of maintaining metabolite homeostasis during pollen development, in order to produce mature and fertile pollen under high temperature. The review will give an overview of the current state of the art on the role of various pollen metabolites in pollen homeostasis and thermo-tolerance. Their possible use as metabolic markers to assist breeding programs for plant thermo-tolerance will be discussed.
Metabolites2014, 4(4), 879-888; doi:10.3390/metabo4040879 - published 29 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Monitoring volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from exhaled breath has been used to determine exposures of humans to chemicals. Prior to analysis of VOCs, breath samples are often collected with canisters or bags and concentrated. The Bio-VOC breath sampler, a commercial sampling device, has been recently introduced to the market with growing use. The main advantage for this sampler is to collect the last portion of exhaled breath, which is more likely to represent the air deep in the lungs. However, information about the Bio-VOC sampler is somewhat limited. Therefore, we have thoroughly evaluated the sampler here. We determined the volume of the breath air collected in the sampler was approximately 88 mL. When sampling was repeated multiple times, with the succeeding exhalations applied to a single sorbent tube, we observed linear relationships between the normalized peak intensity and the number of repeated collections with the sampler in many of the breath VOCs detected. No moisture effect was observed on the Tenax sorbent tubes used. However, due to the limitation in the collection volume, the use of the Bio-VOC sampler is recommended only for detection of VOCs present at high concentrations unless repeated collections of breath samples on the sampler are conducted.
Metabolites2014, 4(3), 831-878; doi:10.3390/metabo4030831 - published 25 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Mitochondrial dysfunction(s) (MDs) can be defined as alterations in the mitochondria, including mitochondrial uncoupling, mitochondrial depolarization, inhibition of the mitochondrial respiratory chain, mitochondrial network fragmentation, mitochondrial or nuclear DNA mutations and the mitochondrial accumulation of protein aggregates. All these MDs are known to alter the capacity of ATP production and are observed in several pathological states/diseases, including cancer, obesity, muscle and neurological disorders. The induction of MDs can also alter the secretion of several metabolites, reactive oxygen species production and modify several cell-signalling pathways to resolve the mitochondrial dysfunction or ultimately trigger cell death. Many metabolites, such as fatty acids and derived compounds, could be secreted into the blood stream by cells suffering from mitochondrial alterations. In this review, we summarize how a mitochondrial uncoupling can modify metabolites, the signalling pathways and transcription factors involved in this process. We describe how to identify the causes or consequences of mitochondrial dysfunction using metabolomics (liquid and gas chromatography associated with mass spectrometry analysis, NMR spectroscopy) in the obesity and insulin resistance thematic.
Metabolites2014, 4(3), 807-830; doi:10.3390/metabo4030807 - published 12 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Inhibition of protein deacetylation enzymes, alone or in combination with standard chemotherapies, is an exciting addition to cancer therapy. We have investigated the effect of deacetylase inhibition on the metabolism of glioblastoma cells. 1H NMR metabolomics analysis was used to determine the major metabolic changes following treatment of two distinct glioblastoma cell lines, U373 and LN229, with five different histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors, as well as one inhibitor of NAD+-dependent protein deacetylases (SIRT). The addition of the standard glioblastoma chemotherapy agent, temozolomide, to the HDAC and SIRT treatments led to a reduction in cell survival, suggesting a possibility for combined treatment. This study shows that distinct glioblastoma cell lines, with different metabolic profiles and gene expression, experience dissimilar changes following treatment with protein deacetylase inhibitors. The observed effects of inhibitors on mitochondrial metabolism, glycolysis and fatty acid synthesis suggest possible roles of protein deacetylases in metabolism regulation. Metabolic markers of the effectiveness of anti-protein deacetylase treatments have been explored. In addition to known deacetylation inhibitors, three novel inhibitors have been introduced and tested. Finally, 1H NMR analysis of cellular metabolism is shown to be a fast, inexpensive method for testing drug effects.