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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 954; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040954

Branched Chain Amino Acids: Beyond Nutrition Metabolism

1,2
,
1
,
2
,
3,* and 1,4,*
1
State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, College of Animal Science and Technology, China Agricultural University, No. 2. Yuanmingyuan West Road, Beijing 100193, China
2
College of Animal Science and Technology, Shihezi University, No. 221. Beisi Road, Shihezi, Xinjiang 832003, China
3
Department of Animal Science, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA
4
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 1 March 2018 / Accepted: 14 March 2018 / Published: 23 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Amino Acids Transport and Metabolism)
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Abstract

Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), including leucine (Leu), isoleucine (Ile), and valine (Val), play critical roles in the regulation of energy homeostasis, nutrition metabolism, gut health, immunity and disease in humans and animals. As the most abundant of essential amino acids (EAAs), BCAAs are not only the substrates for synthesis of nitrogenous compounds, they also serve as signaling molecules regulating metabolism of glucose, lipid, and protein synthesis, intestinal health, and immunity via special signaling network, especially phosphoinositide 3-kinase/protein kinase B/mammalian target of rapamycin (PI3K/AKT/mTOR) signal pathway. Current evidence supports BCAAs and their derivatives as the potential biomarkers of diseases such as insulin resistance (IR), type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), cancer, and cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). These diseases are closely associated with catabolism and balance of BCAAs. Hence, optimizing dietary BCAA levels should have a positive effect on the parameters associated with health and diseases. This review focuses on recent findings of BCAAs in metabolic pathways and regulation, and underlying the relationship of BCAAs to related disease processes. View Full-Text
Keywords: branch chain amino acids (BCAAs); amino acid metabolism; PI3K-AKT-mTOR; biomarkers; insulin resistance; metabolic diseases branch chain amino acids (BCAAs); amino acid metabolism; PI3K-AKT-mTOR; biomarkers; insulin resistance; metabolic diseases
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Nie, C.; He, T.; Zhang, W.; Zhang, G.; Ma, X. Branched Chain Amino Acids: Beyond Nutrition Metabolism. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 954.

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