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Metabolites, Volume 10, Issue 10 (October 2020) – 43 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): In a cross-sectional study of 671 racially/ethnically diverse men and women with dietary data collected over one year from food frequency questionnaires, repeated 24-hour diet recalls, and with two fasting plasma metabolic profiles (6 months apart) measured using untargeted mass-spectrometry platforms, we identified 677 diet–metabolite correlations after adjusting for multiple comparisons. We replicated previously identified biomarkers for many foods and beverages such as citrus fruits, mushrooms, garlic, whole grains, beans, fish, nuts, alcohol, coffee, and tea. We also identified novel and biologically plausible biomarkers, to our knowledge, for foods such as soy products and artificial sweeteners. Forty percent of the diet-related metabolites had good reproducibility over six months. View this paper.
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Article
Multi-Targeted Metabolic Profiling of Carotenoids, Phenolic Compounds and Primary Metabolites in Goji (Lycium spp.) Berry and Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) Reveals Inter and Intra Genus Biomarkers
Metabolites 2020, 10(10), 422; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo10100422 - 21 Oct 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 914
Abstract
Metabolic profile is a key component of fruit quality, which is a challenge to study due to great compound diversity, especially in species with high nutritional value. This study presents optimized analytical methods for metabolic profiling in the fruits of three Solanaceae species: [...] Read more.
Metabolic profile is a key component of fruit quality, which is a challenge to study due to great compound diversity, especially in species with high nutritional value. This study presents optimized analytical methods for metabolic profiling in the fruits of three Solanaceae species: Lycium barbarum, Lycium chinense and Solanumlycopersicum. It includes the most important chemical classes involved in nutrition and taste, i.e., carotenoids, phenolic compounds and primary compounds. Emphasis has been placed on the systematic achievement of good extraction yields, sample stability, and high response linearity using common LC-ESI-TQ-MS and GC-EI-MS apparatuses. A set of 13 carotenoids, 46 phenolic compounds and 67 primary compounds were profiled in fruit samples. Chemometrics revealed metabolic markers discriminating Lycium and Solanum fruits but also Lycium barbarum and Lycium chinense fruits and the effect of the crop environment. Typical tomato markers were found to be lycopene, carotene, glutamate and GABA, while lycibarbarphenylpropanoids and zeaxanthin esters characterized goji (Lycium spp.) fruits. Among the compounds discriminating the Lycium species, reported here for the first time to our knowledge, chlorogenic acids, asparagine and quinic acid were more abundant in Lycium chinense, whereas Lycium barbarum accumulated more lycibarbarphenylpropanoids A-B, coumaric acid, fructose and glucose. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Metabolomic Profiling Technology)
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Article
A High Fat/High Sugar Diet Alters the Gastrointestinal Metabolome in a Sex Dependent Manner
Metabolites 2020, 10(10), 421; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo10100421 - 20 Oct 2020
Viewed by 844
Abstract
The gut metabolome offers insight for identifying the source of diet related pathology. As such, the purpose of this study was to characterize alterations of the gut metabolome in female and male C57BL/6J mice randomly assigned to a standard “chow” diet (CHOW) or [...] Read more.
The gut metabolome offers insight for identifying the source of diet related pathology. As such, the purpose of this study was to characterize alterations of the gut metabolome in female and male C57BL/6J mice randomly assigned to a standard “chow” diet (CHOW) or a high fat/high sugar diet (HFHS; 45% fat and 20% fructose drinking solution) for nine weeks. Cecal metabolites were extracted and an untargeted analysis via LC-MS/MS was performed. Partial Least Sums Discriminate Analysis (PLS-DA) presented significant differences between the two diet groups in a sex-dependent manner. Mann–Whitney U-tests revealed 2443 and 1669 features to be significantly different between diet groups in the females and males, respectively. The majority of altered metabolites were depleted within the cecum of the HFHS fed mice. Metabolic pathways associated with galactose metabolism, leukotriene metabolism, and androgen and estrogen biosynthesis and metabolism were differentially altered with an HFHS diet between sexes. We concluded the immense metabolite depletion and elevation of adverse metabolites associated with the HFHS diet is suggestive of poor gut health. Further, the differential alterations between female and male mice suggests that sex plays an important role in determining the effect of diet on the metabolome and host health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nutrition and Metabolism)
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Article
Relationships between Follicle-Stimulating Hormone and Adiponectin in Postmenopausal Women
Metabolites 2020, 10(10), 420; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo10100420 - 19 Oct 2020
Viewed by 850
Abstract
Beyond fertility, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) may exert action on adipocytes, which are the major source of adiponectin and leptin, linking to insulin resistance. Therefore, we evaluated the relationships between FSH and adipocyte-derived hormones. This cross-sectional study enrolled postmenopausal women aged 40–65 years. The [...] Read more.
Beyond fertility, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) may exert action on adipocytes, which are the major source of adiponectin and leptin, linking to insulin resistance. Therefore, we evaluated the relationships between FSH and adipocyte-derived hormones. This cross-sectional study enrolled postmenopausal women aged 40–65 years. The variables measured in this study included clinical parameters, fasting levels of sex hormones, glucose, insulin, and adipokines. A total of 261 women without breast cancer, 88 women with breast cancer receiving tamoxifen, and 59 women with breast cancer receiving additional gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogs were enrolled in this study. Significant differences in the levels of adiponectin, leptin, and FSH were observed between the non-breast cancer group and the breast cancer groups. Spearman’s rank test revealed significant associations of FSH with either body mass index (BMI) or homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) values in the non-breast cancer group. After adjusting for BMI, age, and menopause duration, FSH levels were significantly associated with adiponectin (p < 0.001) and the leptin-to-adiponectin ratio (p = 0.008) in the non-breast cancer group, but they were only significantly associated with adiponectin (p = 0.001) in the breast cancer group receiving tamoxifen. Our data show that FSH levels are independently associated with adiponectin levels in postmenopausal women, suggesting that adiponectin may link FSH to metabolic relationships in postmenopausal female. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Endocrinology and Clinical Metabolic Research)
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Review
Emerging Role of Metabolomics in Ovarian Cancer Diagnosis
Metabolites 2020, 10(10), 419; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo10100419 - 19 Oct 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1040
Abstract
Ovarian cancer is considered a silent killer due to the lack of clear symptoms and efficient diagnostic tools that often lead to late diagnoses. Over recent years, the impelling need for proficient biomarkers has led researchers to consider metabolomics, an emerging omics science [...] Read more.
Ovarian cancer is considered a silent killer due to the lack of clear symptoms and efficient diagnostic tools that often lead to late diagnoses. Over recent years, the impelling need for proficient biomarkers has led researchers to consider metabolomics, an emerging omics science that deals with analyses of the entire set of small-molecules (≤1.5 kDa) present in biological systems. Metabolomics profiles, as a mirror of tumor–host interactions, have been found to be useful for the analysis and identification of specific cancer phenotypes. Cancer may cause significant metabolic alterations to sustain its growth, and metabolomics may highlight this, making it possible to detect cancer in an early phase of development. In the last decade, metabolomics has been widely applied to identify different metabolic signatures to improve ovarian cancer diagnosis. The aim of this review is to update the current status of the metabolomics research for the discovery of new diagnostic metabolomic biomarkers for ovarian cancer. The most promising metabolic alterations are discussed in view of their potential biological implications, underlying the issues that limit their effective clinical translation into ovarian cancer diagnostic tools. Full article
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Review
Metabolite Transporters as Regulators of Immunity
Metabolites 2020, 10(10), 418; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo10100418 - 19 Oct 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1386
Abstract
In the past decade, the rise of immunometabolism has fundamentally reshaped the face of immunology. As the functions and properties of many (immuno)metabolites have now been well described, their exchange among cells and their environment have only recently sparked the interest of immunologists. [...] Read more.
In the past decade, the rise of immunometabolism has fundamentally reshaped the face of immunology. As the functions and properties of many (immuno)metabolites have now been well described, their exchange among cells and their environment have only recently sparked the interest of immunologists. While many metabolites bind specific receptors to induce signaling cascades, some are actively exchanged between cells to communicate, or induce metabolic reprograming. In this review, we give an overview about how active metabolite transport impacts immune cell function and shapes immunological responses. We present some examples of how specific transporters feed into metabolic pathways and initiate intracellular signaling events in immune cells. In particular, we focus on the role of metabolite transporters in the activation and effector functions of T cells and macrophages, as prototype adaptive and innate immune cell populations. Full article
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Communication
The Peptide Chain Release Factor Methyltransferase PrmC Influences the Pseudomonas aeruginosa PA14 Endo- and Exometabolome
Metabolites 2020, 10(10), 417; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo10100417 - 18 Oct 2020
Viewed by 807
Abstract
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is one of the most important nosocomial pathogens and understanding its virulence is the key to effective control of P. aeruginosa infections. The regulatory network governing virulence factor production in P. aeruginosa is exceptionally complex. Previous studies have shown that the [...] Read more.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is one of the most important nosocomial pathogens and understanding its virulence is the key to effective control of P. aeruginosa infections. The regulatory network governing virulence factor production in P. aeruginosa is exceptionally complex. Previous studies have shown that the peptide chain release factor methyltransferase PrmC plays an important role in bacterial pathogenicity. Yet, the underlying molecular mechanism is incompletely understood. In this study, we used untargeted liquid and gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry to characterise the metabolome of a prmC defective P. aeruginosa PA14 strain in comparison with the corresponding strain complemented with prmC in trans. The comprehensive metabolomics data provided new insight into the influence of prmC on virulence and metabolism. prmC deficiency had broad effects on the endo- and exometabolome of P. aeruginosa PA14, with a marked decrease of the levels of aromatic compounds accompanied by reduced precursor supply from the shikimate pathway. Furthermore, a pronounced decrease of phenazine production was observed as well as lower abundance of alkylquinolones. Unexpectedly, the metabolomics data showed no prmC-dependent effect on rhamnolipid production and an increase in pyochelin levels. A putative virulence biomarker identified in a previous study was significantly less abundant in the prmC deficient strain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Reviews and Advances in Microbial Metabolomics)
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Article
A Python-Based Pipeline for Preprocessing LC–MS Data for Untargeted Metabolomics Workflows
Metabolites 2020, 10(10), 416; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo10100416 - 16 Oct 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2345
Abstract
Preprocessing data in a reproducible and robust way is one of the current challenges in untargeted metabolomics workflows. Data curation in liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC–MS) involves the removal of biologically non-relevant features (retention time, m/z pairs) to retain only high-quality data for subsequent [...] Read more.
Preprocessing data in a reproducible and robust way is one of the current challenges in untargeted metabolomics workflows. Data curation in liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC–MS) involves the removal of biologically non-relevant features (retention time, m/z pairs) to retain only high-quality data for subsequent analysis and interpretation. The present work introduces TidyMS, a package for the Python programming language for preprocessing LC–MS data for quality control (QC) procedures in untargeted metabolomics workflows. It is a versatile strategy that can be customized or fit for purpose according to the specific metabolomics application. It allows performing quality control procedures to ensure accuracy and reliability in LC–MS measurements, and it allows preprocessing metabolomics data to obtain cleaned matrices for subsequent statistical analysis. The capabilities of the package are shown with pipelines for an LC–MS system suitability check, system conditioning, signal drift evaluation, and data curation. These applications were implemented to preprocess data corresponding to a new suite of candidate plasma reference materials developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST; hypertriglyceridemic, diabetic, and African-American plasma pools) to be used in untargeted metabolomics studies in addition to NIST SRM 1950 Metabolites in Frozen Human Plasma. The package offers a rapid and reproducible workflow that can be used in an automated or semi-automated fashion, and it is an open and free tool available to all users. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolomics Methodologies and Applications II)
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Article
Rapid Preparation of a Large Sulfated Metabolite Library for Structure Validation in Human Samples
Metabolites 2020, 10(10), 415; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo10100415 - 16 Oct 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1290
Abstract
Metabolomics analysis of biological samples is widely applied in medical and natural sciences. Assigning the correct chemical structure in the metabolite identification process is required to draw the correct biological conclusions and still remains a major challenge in this research field. Several metabolite [...] Read more.
Metabolomics analysis of biological samples is widely applied in medical and natural sciences. Assigning the correct chemical structure in the metabolite identification process is required to draw the correct biological conclusions and still remains a major challenge in this research field. Several metabolite tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) fragmentation spectra libraries have been developed that are either based on computational methods or authentic libraries. These libraries are limited due to the high number of structurally diverse metabolites, low commercial availability of these compounds, and the increasing number of newly discovered metabolites. Phase II modification of xenobiotics is a compound class that is underrepresented in these databases despite their importance in diet, drug, or microbiome metabolism. The O-sulfated metabolites have been described as a signature for the co-metabolism of bacteria and their human host. Herein, we have developed a straightforward chemical synthesis method for rapid preparation of sulfated metabolite standards to obtain mass spectrometric fragmentation pattern and retention time information. We report the preparation of 38 O-sulfated alcohols and phenols for the determination of their MS/MS fragmentation pattern and chromatographic properties. Many of these metabolites are regioisomers that cannot be distinguished solely by their fragmentation pattern. We demonstrate that the versatility of this method is comparable to standard chemical synthesis. This comprehensive metabolite library can be applied for co-injection experiments to validate metabolites in different human sample types to explore microbiota-host co-metabolism, xenobiotic, and diet metabolism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition, Microbiota and Metabolism)
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Article
Antioxidant and Antibacterial Capacities of Origanum vulgare L. Essential Oil from the Arid Andean Region of Chile and its Chemical Characterization by GC-MS
Metabolites 2020, 10(10), 414; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo10100414 - 16 Oct 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1579
Abstract
This study aimed to characterize the in vitro antioxidant and antibacterial properties of oregano (Origanum vulgare) essential oil, as well as its chemical composition. To our best knowledge, there are few studies on oregano grown in the arid Andes region, but [...] Read more.
This study aimed to characterize the in vitro antioxidant and antibacterial properties of oregano (Origanum vulgare) essential oil, as well as its chemical composition. To our best knowledge, there are few studies on oregano grown in the arid Andes region, but none on the metabolites produced and their bioactivity. This work identified fifty metabolites by Gas Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS)—monoterpene hydrocarbons, oxygenated monoterpenes, phenolic monoterpenes, sesquiterpene hydrocarbons, and oxygenated sesquiterpenes—present in the essential oil of oregano collected in the Atacama Desert. The main components of essential oregano oil were thymol (15.9%), Z-sabinene hydrate (13.4%), γ-terpinene (10.6%), p-cymene (8.6%), linalyl acetate (7.2%), sabinene (6.5%), and carvacrol methyl ether (5.6%). The antibacterial tests showed that the pathogenic bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella enterica and the phytopathogenic bacteria Erwinia rhapontici and Xanthomonas campestris were the most susceptible to oregano oil, with the lowest concentrations of oil necessary to inhibit their bacterial growth. Moreover, oregano oil showed antibacterial activity against bacteria associated with food poisoning. In conclusion, O. vulgare from the arid Andean region possesses an important antibacterial activity with a high potential in the food industry and agriculture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant and Derived Natural Product Metabolomics)
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Article
Temperate Propolis Has Anti-Inflammatory Effects and Is a Potent Inhibitor of Nitric Oxide Formation in Macrophages
Metabolites 2020, 10(10), 413; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo10100413 - 14 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 994
Abstract
Previous research has shown that propolis has immunomodulatory activity. Extracts from two UK propolis samples were assessed for their anti-inflammatory activities by investigating their ability to alter the production of the cytokines: tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-6, and IL-10 from mouse [...] Read more.
Previous research has shown that propolis has immunomodulatory activity. Extracts from two UK propolis samples were assessed for their anti-inflammatory activities by investigating their ability to alter the production of the cytokines: tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-6, and IL-10 from mouse bone marrow-derived macrophages co-stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The propolis extracts suppressed the secretion of IL-1β and IL-6 with less effect on TNFα. In addition, propolis reduced the levels of nitric oxide formed by LPS-stimulated macrophages. Metabolomic profiling was carried out by liquid chromatography (LC) coupled with mass spectrometry (MS) on a ZIC-pHILIC column. LPS increased the levels of intermediates involved in nitric oxide biosynthesis; propolis lowered many of these. In addition, LPS produced an increase in itaconate and citrate, and propolis treatment increased itaconate still further while greatly reducing citrate levels. Moreover, LPS treatment increased levels of glutathione (GSH) and intermediates in its biosynthesis, while propolis treatment boosted these still further. In addition, propolis treatment greatly increased levels of uridine diphosphate (UDP)–sugar conjugates. Overall, the results showed that propolis extracts exert an anti-inflammatory effect by the inhibition of pro-inflammatory cytokines and by the metabolic reprogramming of LPS activity in macrophages. Full article
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Review
Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors Targeting Metabolism and Tumor Microenvironment
Metabolites 2020, 10(10), 412; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo10100412 - 14 Oct 2020
Cited by 39 | Viewed by 1907
Abstract
The tumor microenvironment is crucial for the growth of cancer cells, triggering particular biochemical and physiological changes, which frequently influence the outcome of anticancer therapies. The biochemical rationale behind many of these phenomena resides in the activation of transcription factors such as hypoxia-inducible [...] Read more.
The tumor microenvironment is crucial for the growth of cancer cells, triggering particular biochemical and physiological changes, which frequently influence the outcome of anticancer therapies. The biochemical rationale behind many of these phenomena resides in the activation of transcription factors such as hypoxia-inducible factor 1 and 2 (HIF-1/2). In turn, the HIF pathway activates a number of genes including those involved in glucose metabolism, angiogenesis, and pH regulation. Several carbonic anhydrase (CA, EC 4.2.1.1) isoforms, such as CA IX and XII, actively participate in these processes and were validated as antitumor/antimetastatic drug targets. Here, we review the field of CA inhibitors (CAIs), which selectively inhibit the cancer-associated CA isoforms. Particular focus was on the identification of lead compounds and various inhibitor classes, and the measurement of CA inhibitory on-/off-target effects. In addition, the preclinical data that resulted in the identification of SLC-0111, a sulfonamide in Phase Ib/II clinical trials for the treatment of hypoxic, advanced solid tumors, are detailed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolism in the Tumor Microenvironment)
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Article
Role of the Mitochondrial Pyruvate Carrier in the Occurrence of Metabolic Inflexibility in Drosophila melanogaster Exposed to Dietary Sucrose
Metabolites 2020, 10(10), 411; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo10100411 - 14 Oct 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 919
Abstract
Excess dietary carbohydrates are linked to dysregulation of metabolic pathways converging to mitochondria and metabolic inflexibility. Here, we determined the role of the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier (MPC) in the occurrence of this metabolic inflexibility in wild-type (WT) and MPC1-deficient (MPC1def) flies [...] Read more.
Excess dietary carbohydrates are linked to dysregulation of metabolic pathways converging to mitochondria and metabolic inflexibility. Here, we determined the role of the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier (MPC) in the occurrence of this metabolic inflexibility in wild-type (WT) and MPC1-deficient (MPC1def) flies that were exposed to diets with different sucrose concentrations for 15–25 days (Standard Diet: SD, Medium-Sucrose Diet: MSD, and High-Sucrose Diet: HSD). Our results showed that MPC1def flies had lower mitochondrial respiration rates than WT flies on the SD and MSD. However, when exposed to the HSD, WT flies displayed decreased mitochondrial respiration rates compared to MPC1def flies. WT flies exposed to the HSD also displayed increased proline contribution and slightly decreased MPC1 expression. Surprisingly, when fed the MSD and the HSD, few metabolites were altered in WT flies whereas MPC1def flies display significant accumulation of glycogen, glucose, fructose, lactate, and glycerol. Overall, this suggests that metabolic inflexibility starts to occur in WT flies after 15–25 days of exposure to the HSD whereas the MPC1def flies display metabolic inflexibility independently of the diet provided. This study thus highlights the involvement of MPC as an essential protein in Drosophila to maintain proper metabolic homeostasis during changes in dietary resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Metabolism)
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Article
Adipocytokines and Metabolic Syndrome in Patients with Schizophrenia
Metabolites 2020, 10(10), 410; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo10100410 - 14 Oct 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 796
Abstract
The adipokines leptin, adiponectin, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), and interleukin 6 (IL-6) might be associated with metabolic syndrome (MetS) in patients with schizophrenia. In the present study, we attempted to confirm the results of previous reports and assessed their MetS-related correlation with body [...] Read more.
The adipokines leptin, adiponectin, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), and interleukin 6 (IL-6) might be associated with metabolic syndrome (MetS) in patients with schizophrenia. In the present study, we attempted to confirm the results of previous reports and assessed their MetS-related correlation with body fat composition and biochemical parameters. We measured in 46 patients with schizophrenia and MetS serum levels of adiponectin insulin, leptin, TNF-α and IL-6 and compared these levels to those of patients with schizophrenia without MetS. The MetS patients had significantly increased leptin levels and leptin/adiponectin ratios, as well as decreased adiponectin levels. Leptin levels correlated with several metabolic parameters, both in patients with and without MetS, including body fat percentage, total fat fold, and body mass index (BMI). Patients without abnormal MetS components had lower levels of leptin and leptin/adiponectin ratios compared with patients who had one or two MetS components. Leptin/adiponectin ratios were higher in patients who had four rather than three MetS components. Multiple regression analysis revealed multiple associations for leptin but only one for adiponectin, TNF-α, and IL-6. Our results support an important pathophysiological role for leptin more than adiponectin in patients with schizophrenia with MetS. Full article
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Review
Revisiting the Complex Pathosystem of Huanglongbing: Deciphering the Role of Citrus Metabolites in Symptom Development
Metabolites 2020, 10(10), 409; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo10100409 - 13 Oct 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1228
Abstract
Huanglongbing (HLB), formerly known as citrus greening disease, is one of the most devastating bacterial diseases in citrus worldwide. HLB is caused by ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ bacterium and transmitted by Diaphorina citri. Both ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ and its vector manipulate the [...] Read more.
Huanglongbing (HLB), formerly known as citrus greening disease, is one of the most devastating bacterial diseases in citrus worldwide. HLB is caused by ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ bacterium and transmitted by Diaphorina citri. Both ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ and its vector manipulate the host metabolism to fulfill their nutritional needs and/or to neutralize the host defense responses. Herein, we discuss the history of HLB and the complexity of its pathosystem as well as the geographical distribution of its pathogens and vectors. Recently, our recognition of physiological events associated with ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ infection and/or D. citri-infestation has greatly improved. However, the roles of citrus metabolites in the development of HLB symptoms are still unclear. We believe that symptom development of HLB disease is a complicated process and relies on a multilayered metabolic network which is mainly regulated by phytohormones. Citrus metabolites play vital roles in the development of HLB symptoms through the modulation of carbohydrate metabolism, phytohormone homeostasis, antioxidant pathways, or via the interaction with other metabolic pathways, particularly involving amino acids, leaf pigments, and polyamines. Understanding how ‘Ca. L. asiaticus’ and its vector, D. citri, affect the metabolic pathways of their host is critical for developing novel, sustainable strategies for HLB management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolomics in Plant Defence)
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Article
Leaves and Spiny Burs of Castanea Sativa from an Experimental Chestnut Grove: Metabolomic Analysis and Anti-Neuroinflammatory Activity
Metabolites 2020, 10(10), 408; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo10100408 - 13 Oct 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 980
Abstract
Castanea sativa cultivation has been present in Mediterranean regions since ancient times. In order to promote a circular economy, it is of great importance to valorize chestnut groves’ by-products. In this study, leaves and spiny burs from twenty-four Castanea trees were analyzed by [...] Read more.
Castanea sativa cultivation has been present in Mediterranean regions since ancient times. In order to promote a circular economy, it is of great importance to valorize chestnut groves’ by-products. In this study, leaves and spiny burs from twenty-four Castanea trees were analyzed by 1H NMR metabolomics to provide an overview of their phytochemical profile. The Orthogonal Projections to Latent Structures Discriminant Analysis (OPLS-DA) performed on these data allowed us to distinguish ‘Marrone’ from ‘Castagna’, since the latter were generally more enriched with secondary metabolites, in particular, flavonoids (astragalin, isorhamnetin glucoside, and myricitrin) were dominant. Knowing that microglia are involved in mediating the oxidative and inflammatory response of the central nervous system, the potential anti-inflammatory effects of extracts derived from leaves and spiny burs were evaluated in a neuroinflammatory cell model: BV-2 microglia cells. The tested extracts showed cytoprotective activity (at 0.1 and 0.5 mg/mL) after inflammation induction by 5 µg/mL lipopolysaccharide (LPS). In addition, the transcriptional levels of IL-1β, TNF-α, and NF-kB expression induced by LPS were significantly decreased by cell incubation with spiny burs and leaves extracts. Taken together, the obtained results are promising and represent an important step to encourage recycling and valorization of chestnut byproducts, usually considered “waste”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolite Markers of Phytochemicals II)
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Article
Feature-Based Molecular Networking to Target the Isolation of New Caffeic Acid Esters from Yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius, Asteraceae)
Metabolites 2020, 10(10), 407; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo10100407 - 13 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1181
Abstract
Smallanthus sonchifolius (yacon) is an edible tuberous Andean shrub that has been included in the diet of indigenous people since before recorded history. The nutraceutical and medicinal properties of yacon are widely recognized, especially for the improvement of hyperglycemic disorders. However, the chemical [...] Read more.
Smallanthus sonchifolius (yacon) is an edible tuberous Andean shrub that has been included in the diet of indigenous people since before recorded history. The nutraceutical and medicinal properties of yacon are widely recognized, especially for the improvement of hyperglycemic disorders. However, the chemical diversity of the main bioactive series of caffeic acid esters has not been explored in detail. In this metabolomics study, we applied the latest tools to facilitate the targeted isolation of new caffeic acid esters. Using liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), we analyzed extracts from different organs (roots, vascular tissues of the stems, stem epidermis, leaves, bracts, and ray flowers) and followed a feature-based molecular networking approach to characterize the structural diversity of caffeic acid esters and recognize new compounds. The analysis identified three potentially new metabolites, one of them confirmed by isolation and full spectroscopic/spectrometric assignment using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS), and MS/MS. This metabolite (5-O-caffeoyl-2,7-anhydro-d-glycero-β-d-galacto-oct-2-ulopyranosonic acid), along with eight known caffeic acid esters, was isolated from the roots and stems. Furthermore, based on detailed tandem MS analyses, we suggest that the two isomeric monocaffeoyl-2,7-anhydro-2-octulopyranosonic acids found in yacon can be reliably distinguished based on their characteristic MS2 and MS3 spectra. The outcome of the current study confirms the utility of feature-based molecular networking as a tool for targeted isolation of previously undescribed metabolites and reveals the full diversity of potentially bioactive metabolites from S. sonchifolius. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Metabolomic Profiling Technology)
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Article
Metabolites from Microbes Isolated from the Skin of the Panamanian Rocket Frog Colostethus panamansis (Anura: Dendrobatidae)
Metabolites 2020, 10(10), 406; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo10100406 - 13 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1275
Abstract
The Panamanian rocket frog Colostethus panamansis (family Dendrobatidae) has been affected by chytridiomycosis, a deadly disease caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). While there are still uninfected frogs, we set out to isolate microbes from anatomically distinct regions in an [...] Read more.
The Panamanian rocket frog Colostethus panamansis (family Dendrobatidae) has been affected by chytridiomycosis, a deadly disease caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). While there are still uninfected frogs, we set out to isolate microbes from anatomically distinct regions in an effort to create a cultivable resource within Panama for potential drug/agricultural/ecological applications that perhaps could also be used as part of a strategy to protect frogs from infections. To understand if there are specific anatomies that should be explored in future applications of this resource, we mapped skin-associated bacteria of C. panamansis and their metabolite production potential by mass spectrometry on a 3D model. Our results indicate that five bacterial families (Enterobacteriaceae, Comamonadaceae, Aeromonadaceae, Staphylococcaceae and Pseudomonadaceae) dominate the cultivable microbes from the skin of C. panamansis. The combination of microbial classification and molecular analysis in relation to the anti-Bd inhibitory databases reveals the resource has future potential for amphibian conservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbiome and Metabolome)
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Article
Metabolomic Alteration in the Mouse Distal Colonic Mucosa after Oral Gavage with Oxalobacter formigenes
Metabolites 2020, 10(10), 405; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo10100405 - 13 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1391
Abstract
Oxalobacter formigenes has been investigated for years due to its proposed ability to produce a secretagogue compound that initiates net intestinal oxalate secretion, thereby theoretically reducing circulating oxalate and risk of kidney stone formation. Strains which have been shown to exhibit this function [...] Read more.
Oxalobacter formigenes has been investigated for years due to its proposed ability to produce a secretagogue compound that initiates net intestinal oxalate secretion, thereby theoretically reducing circulating oxalate and risk of kidney stone formation. Strains which have been shown to exhibit this function in vivo across native tissue include the human strain, HC1, and the wild rat strain, OxWR. While previous work on these secretagogue-relevant strains has focused on profiling their metabolome and lipidome in vitro, efforts to characterize their influence on host intestinal mucosal biochemistry in vivo are yet to be reported. Much work has been done over the years with O. formigenes in relation to the secretagogue hypothesis, but it has never been clearly demonstrated that this microorganism is capable of inducing metabolic changes in native host tissue, which would be expected with the production of a transport-inducing compound. In this work, we show how the distal colonic mucosal metabolomic profile in a mouse model exhibited significant changes in the levels of a variety of metabolites as a result of oral gavage with O. formigenes HC1. Among these significant metabolites was nicotinic acid, an essential nutrient shown in past work to be produced in the gut by the native microbiome. Our finding that the in vivo biochemical state of the distal colon was altered with O. formigenes lends support to the secretagogue hypothesis and serves as a pioneering step in characterizing the biochemical interplay between O. formigenes and the mammalian host. Full article
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Article
Serum Metabonomic Research of the Anti-Hypertensive Effects of Ogaja on Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats
Metabolites 2020, 10(10), 404; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo10100404 - 12 Oct 2020
Viewed by 830
Abstract
Our previous studies have shown that Ogaja Acanthopanax sessiliflorus has an important role in decreasing blood pressure, but its biochemical change characteristic has not been clarified completely at the metabolic level. Therefore, in this study, a combination method of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) [...] Read more.
Our previous studies have shown that Ogaja Acanthopanax sessiliflorus has an important role in decreasing blood pressure, but its biochemical change characteristic has not been clarified completely at the metabolic level. Therefore, in this study, a combination method of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy-based metabonomics and multivariate statistical analyses was employed to explore the metabolic changes of serum samples from spontaneously hypertensive rats treated with Ogaja extracts. In the results of multivariate statistical analysis, the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) groups treated with Ogaja were separated from the SHR group. The group of SHR treated with 200 mg/kg Ogaja was clustered with the positive control (captopril) group, and the 400 and 600 mg/kg Ogaja treatment SHR groups were clustered together. Quantified metabolites were statistically analyzed to find the metabolites showing the effects of Ogaja. Succinate and betaine had variable importance in projection (VIP) scores over 2.0. Succinate, which is related to renin release, and betaine, which is related to lowering blood pressure, increased dose-dependently. Full article
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Article
HPLC-DAD-ESI-QTOF-MS Determination of Bioactive Compounds and Antioxidant Activity Comparison of the Hydroalcoholic and Water Extracts from Two Helichrysum italicum Species
Metabolites 2020, 10(10), 403; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo10100403 - 12 Oct 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1461
Abstract
Mediterranean plant Helichrysum italicum represents a rich source of versatile bioactive compounds with potential benefits for human health. Despite extensive research on the plant’s active constituents, little attention has yet been paid to characterizing the relationship between its intra-specific genetic diversity and metabolite [...] Read more.
Mediterranean plant Helichrysum italicum represents a rich source of versatile bioactive compounds with potential benefits for human health. Despite extensive research on the plant’s active constituents, little attention has yet been paid to characterizing the relationship between its intra-specific genetic diversity and metabolite profile. The study aimed to determine metabolic profile of H. italicum ssp. italicum (HII) and ssp. tyrrhenicum (HIT) cultivated on the experimental plantation in Slovenia and to compare the chemical composition of extracts regarding the solvent extraction process. Extracts were prepared upon conventional extract preparation procedures: maceration with 50% methanol or ethanol and cold or hot water infusion and analyzed using High Performance Liquid Chromatography-Diode Array Detection-Electrospray Ionization-Quadrupole Time-of-Flight-Mass Spectrometry (HPLC-DAD-ESI-QTOF-MS). One hundred compounds were identified in the samples, among them several isomers and derivatives were reported for the first time, while caffeoylquinic acids and pyrones were the most abundant. Semi-quantitative comparison revealed that the extraction procedure had a greater impact on the chemical profile than genetic variability. All HIT extracts showed a higher total phenolic content compared to HII, while the antioxidant potential evaluated by 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazil test was not proportionally higher. In addition, hot water extracts proved to be comparably active as alcoholic ones, confirming high commercial potential of Helichrysum italicum as herbal functional beverages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Science)
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Article
NMR-Based Metabolomic Analysis and Microbial Composition of Soil Supporting Burkea africana Growth
Metabolites 2020, 10(10), 402; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo10100402 - 10 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 866
Abstract
Burkea africana is a leguminous tree used for medicinal purposes, growing in clusters, on soils impoverished from most nutrients. The study aimed to determine the factors responsible for successful reproduction and establishment of the B. africana trees in nature, as all efforts for [...] Read more.
Burkea africana is a leguminous tree used for medicinal purposes, growing in clusters, on soils impoverished from most nutrients. The study aimed to determine the factors responsible for successful reproduction and establishment of the B. africana trees in nature, as all efforts for commercial production has been proven unsuccessful. An investigation was carried out to determine the metabolomic profile, chemical composition, and microbial composition of the soils where B. africana grows (Burkea soil) versus the soil where it does not grow (non-Burkea soil). 1H-NMR metabolomic analysis showed different metabolites in the respective soils. Trehalose and betaine, as well as a choline-like and carnitine-like compound, were found to be in higher concentration in Burkea soils, whereas, acetate, lactate, and formate were concentrated in non-Burkea soils. Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry analysis revealed the presence of numerous amino acids such as aspartic acid and glutamine to be higher in Burkea soils. Since it was previously suggested that the soil microbial diversity is the major driver for establishment and survival of seedlings in nature, Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) was extracted and a BLAST analysis conducted for species identification. Penicillium species was found to be highly prevalent and discriminant between the two soils, associated with the Burkea soils. No differences in the bacterial composition of Burkea and non-Burkea soils were observed. The variances in fungal composition suggests that species supremacy play a role in development of B. africana trees and is responsible for creating a supporting environment for natural establishment and survival of seedlings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Science)
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Article
An Integrated Analytical Approach Reveals Trichome Acylsugar Metabolite Diversity in the Wild Tomato Solanum pennellii
Metabolites 2020, 10(10), 401; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo10100401 - 09 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1137
Abstract
Acylsugars constitute an abundant class of pest- and pathogen-protective Solanaceae family plant-specialized metabolites produced in secretory glandular trichomes. Solanum pennellii produces copious triacylated sucrose and glucose esters, and the core biosynthetic pathway producing these compounds was previously characterized. We performed untargeted metabolomic analysis [...] Read more.
Acylsugars constitute an abundant class of pest- and pathogen-protective Solanaceae family plant-specialized metabolites produced in secretory glandular trichomes. Solanum pennellii produces copious triacylated sucrose and glucose esters, and the core biosynthetic pathway producing these compounds was previously characterized. We performed untargeted metabolomic analysis of S. pennellii surface metabolites from accessions spanning the species range, which indicated geographic trends in the acylsugar profile and revealed two compound classes previously undescribed from this species, tetraacylglucoses and flavonoid aglycones. A combination of ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography–high resolution mass spectrometry (UHPLC–HR-MS) and NMR spectroscopy identified variations in the number, length, and branching pattern of acyl chains, and the proportion of sugar cores in acylsugars among accessions. The new dimensions of acylsugar variation revealed by this analysis further indicate variation in the biosynthetic and degradative pathways responsible for acylsugar accumulation. These findings provide a starting point for deeper investigation of acylsugar biosynthesis, an understanding of which can be exploited through crop breeding or metabolic engineering strategies to improve the endogenous defenses of crop plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Science)
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Article
Targeted Metabolomic Profiling of Total Fatty Acids in Human Plasma by Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry
Metabolites 2020, 10(10), 400; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo10100400 - 09 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 994
Abstract
This article reports a targeted metabolomic method for total plasma fatty acids (FAs) of clinical or nutritional relevance. Thirty-six saturated, unsaturated, or branched-chain FAs with a chain length of C8-C28 were quantified using reversed-phase liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. FAs in plasma (10 μL) [...] Read more.
This article reports a targeted metabolomic method for total plasma fatty acids (FAs) of clinical or nutritional relevance. Thirty-six saturated, unsaturated, or branched-chain FAs with a chain length of C8-C28 were quantified using reversed-phase liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. FAs in plasma (10 μL) were acid-hydrolyzed, extracted, and derivatized with DAABD-AE (4-[2-(N,N-Dimethylamino)ethylaminosulfonyl]-7-(2-aminoethylamino)-2,1,3-benzoxadiazole) at 60 °C for 1 h. Derivatization resulted in a staggering nine orders of magnitude higher sensitivity compared to underivatized analytes. FAs were measured by multiple-reaction monitoring using stable isotope internal standards. With physiological and pathological analyte levels in mind, linearity was established using spiked plasma. Intra-day (n = 15) and inter-day (n = 20) imprecisions expressed as variation coefficient were ≤10.2% with recovery ranging between 94.5–106.4%. Limits of detection and limit of quantitation ranged between 4.2–14.0 and 15.1–51.3 pmol per injection, respectively. Age-stratified reference intervals were established in four categories: <1 month, 1–12 month, 1–18 year, and >18 year. This method was assessed using samples from patients with disorders affecting FAs metabolism. For the first time, C28:0 and C28:0/C22:0 ratio were evaluated as novel disease biomarkers. This method can potentially be utilized in diagnosing patients with inborn errors of metabolism, chronic disease risk estimation, or nutritional applications. Full article
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Article
Running on Empty: A Metabolomics Approach to Investigating Changing Energy Metabolism during Fasted Exercise and Rest
Metabolites 2020, 10(10), 399; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo10100399 - 08 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1614
Abstract
Understanding the metabolic processes in energy metabolism, particularly during fasted exercise, is a growing area of research. Previous work has focused on measuring metabolites pre and post exercise. This can provide information about the final state of energy metabolism in the participants, but [...] Read more.
Understanding the metabolic processes in energy metabolism, particularly during fasted exercise, is a growing area of research. Previous work has focused on measuring metabolites pre and post exercise. This can provide information about the final state of energy metabolism in the participants, but it does not show how these processes vary during the exercise and any subsequent post-exercise period. To address this, the work described here took fasted participants and subjected them to an exercise and rest protocol under laboratory settings, which allowed for breath and blood sampling both pre, during and post exercise. Analysis of the data produced from both the physiological measurements and the untargeted metabolomics measurements showed clear switching between glycolytic and ketolytic metabolism, with the liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) data showing the separate stages of ketolytic metabolism, notably the transport, release and breakdown of long chain fatty acids. Several signals, putatively identified as short peptides, were observed to change in a pattern similar to that of the ketolytic metabolites. This work highlights the power of untargeted metabolomic methods as an investigative tool for exercise science, both to follow known processes in a more complete way and discover possible novel biomarkers. Full article
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Article
Chemical Labeling Assisted Detection and Identification of Short Chain Fatty Acid Esters of Hydroxy Fatty Acid in Rat Colon and Cecum Contents
Metabolites 2020, 10(10), 398; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo10100398 - 08 Oct 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1319
Abstract
Branched fatty acid esters of hydroxy fatty acids (FAHFAs) are novel endogenous lipids with important physiological functions in mammals. We previously identified a new type of FAHFAs, named short-chain fatty acid esterified hydroxy fatty acids (SFAHFAs), with acetyl or propyl esters of hydroxy [...] Read more.
Branched fatty acid esters of hydroxy fatty acids (FAHFAs) are novel endogenous lipids with important physiological functions in mammals. We previously identified a new type of FAHFAs, named short-chain fatty acid esterified hydroxy fatty acids (SFAHFAs), with acetyl or propyl esters of hydroxy fatty acids of carbon chains, C ≥ 20. However, sensitive determination of SFAHFAs is still a challenge, due to their high structural similarity and low abundance in biological samples. This study employs one-step chemical derivatization following total lipid extraction using 2-dimethylaminoethylamine (DMED) for enhanced detection of SFAHFAs. The labeled extracts were subjected to ultrahigh performance liquid chromatography coupled to linear ion trap quadrupole-Orbitrap mass spectrometry (UHPLC/LTQ-Orbitrap MS). Our results demonstrated that the detection sensitivities of SFAHFAs increased after DMED labeling, and is highly helpful in discovering six additional novel SFAHFAs in the cecum and colon contents of WKAH/HKmSlc rats fed with normal and high-fat diet (HFD). The identified DMED labeled SFAHFAs were characterized by their detailed MS/MS analysis, and their plausible fragmentation patterns were proposed. The concentrations of SFAHFAs were significantly reduced in the cecum of HFD group compared to the control. Hence, the proposed method could be a promising tool to apply for the enhanced detection of SFAHFAs in various biological matrices, which in turn facilitate the understanding of their sources, and physiological functions of these novel lipids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lipid and Lipoprotein Metabolism)
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Commentary
What’s Past Is Prologue: History of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Metabolites 2020, 10(10), 397; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo10100397 - 08 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 982
Abstract
Since the initial descriptions in the early 1980s by Dr. Ludwig et al. and Drs. Schaffner and Thaler, who firstly coined the terms nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), this liver disease has become a global health problem worldwide, causing [...] Read more.
Since the initial descriptions in the early 1980s by Dr. Ludwig et al. and Drs. Schaffner and Thaler, who firstly coined the terms nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), this liver disease has become a global health problem worldwide, causing considerable liver-related and extra-hepatic morbidity and mortality. Based on pathophysiological insights gained from the past decades, it has been clearly established that NAFLD is a metabolic liver disease whose etiology and pathogenesis extends beyond the liver and that NAFLD has important clinical implications, especially in terms of an increased risk of developing both cardiovascular disease (which represents the leading cause of death in this patient population) and other extra-hepatic manifestations, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, and some extra-hepatic cancers. The aim of this brief commentary is to discuss a recent review article written by Dr. Lonardo and colleagues, who raised awareness of the history of NAFLD. Since “What’s past is prologue”, I believe that this review article focusing on the history of NAFLD may contribute to better understanding the disease itself, as well as to anticipating the lines of the future clinical and pharmacological research of this common and burdensome liver disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Insulin Resistance in the 2020's)
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Article
Effects of Probiotics Administration on Human Metabolic Phenotype
Metabolites 2020, 10(10), 396; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo10100396 - 07 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1708
Abstract
The establishment of the beneficial interactions between the host and its microbiota is essential for the correct functioning of the organism, since microflora alterations can lead to many diseases. Probiotics improve balanced microbial communities, exerting substantial health-promoting effects. Here we monitored the molecular [...] Read more.
The establishment of the beneficial interactions between the host and its microbiota is essential for the correct functioning of the organism, since microflora alterations can lead to many diseases. Probiotics improve balanced microbial communities, exerting substantial health-promoting effects. Here we monitored the molecular outcomes, obtained by gut microflora modulation through probiotic treatment, on human urine and serum metabolic profiles, with a metabolomic approach. Twenty-two subjects were enrolled in the study and administered with two different probiotic types, both singularly and in combination, for 8 weeks. Urine and serum samples were collected before and during the supplementation and were analyzed by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and statistical analyses. After eight weeks of treatment, probiotics deeply influence the urinary metabolic profiles of the volunteers, without significantly altering their single phenotypes. Anyway, bacteria supplementation tends to reduce the differences in metabolic phenotypes among individuals. Overall, the effects are recipient-dependent, and in some individuals, robust effects are already well visible after four weeks. Modifications in metabolite levels, attributable to each type of probiotic administration, were also monitored. Metabolomic analysis of biofluids turns out to be a powerful technique to monitor the dynamic interactions between the microflora and the host, and the individual response to probiotic assumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolomics and Its Application in Human Diseases Volume 2)
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Article
The Bioassay-Guided Fractionation and Identification of Potent Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors from Narcissus c.v. ‘Hawera’ Using Optimized Vacuum Liquid Chromatography, High Resolution Mass Spectrometry and Bioautography
Metabolites 2020, 10(10), 395; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo10100395 - 04 Oct 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 949
Abstract
Bioassay-guided isolation of bioactive compound is a modern and efficient technique in metabolites screening. It may shorten the total time of the entire process and reduce some costs of it. The aim of this paper was to fractionate and isolate alkaloids by developing [...] Read more.
Bioassay-guided isolation of bioactive compound is a modern and efficient technique in metabolites screening. It may shorten the total time of the entire process and reduce some costs of it. The aim of this paper was to fractionate and isolate alkaloids by developing an innovative vacuum liquid chromatography method for a species of Narcissus c.v. ‘Hawera’ rarely investigated so far and establishing the inhibitory activity of acetylcholinesterase (AChE). The studies consisted of the extraction of plant material by modern pressurized liquid extraction (PLE), followed by the isolation of alkaloidal fractions. For this purpose, the pioneering gradient vacuum liquid chromatography (gVLC) technique was employed by using two sorbents in various proportions packed in polypropylene cartridges for the first time. This step was performed in order to pre-clean the samples but also to establish the best combination of sorbents which permits obtaining potentially strong AChE inhibitors. The collected fractions were examined by HPLC/ESI-QTOF-MS in order to compare which combination of sorbents would allow us to obtain the highest concentration of alkaloids. The combination of these techniques confirmed the presence of the alkaloids and enabled the development of a modern method for the fractionation and isolation of the compounds with strong anti-AChE activity. Full article
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Review
Molecular Chaperones: Molecular Assembly Line Brings Metabolism and Immunity in Shape
Metabolites 2020, 10(10), 394; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo10100394 - 03 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1430
Abstract
Molecular chaperones are a set of conserved proteins that have evolved to assist the folding of many newly synthesized proteins by preventing their misfolding under conditions such as elevated temperatures, hypoxia, acidosis and nutrient deprivation. Molecular chaperones belong to the heat shock protein [...] Read more.
Molecular chaperones are a set of conserved proteins that have evolved to assist the folding of many newly synthesized proteins by preventing their misfolding under conditions such as elevated temperatures, hypoxia, acidosis and nutrient deprivation. Molecular chaperones belong to the heat shock protein (HSP) family. They have been identified as important participants in immune functions including antigen presentation, immunostimulation and immunomodulation, and play crucial roles in metabolic rewiring and epigenetic circuits. Growing evidence has accumulated to indicate that metabolic pathways and their metabolites influence the function of immune cells and can alter transcriptional activity through epigenetic modification of (de)methylation and (de)acetylation. However, whether molecular chaperones can regulate metabolic programs to influence immune activity is still largely unclear. In this review, we discuss the available data on the biological function of molecular chaperones to immune responses during inflammation, with a specific focus on the interplay between molecular chaperones and metabolic pathways that drive immune cell fate and function. Full article
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Article
BALSAM—An Interactive Online Platform for Breath Analysis, Visualization and Classification
Metabolites 2020, 10(10), 393; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo10100393 - 02 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1219
Abstract
The field of breath analysis lacks a fully automated analysis platform that enforces machine learning good practice and enables clinicians and clinical researchers to rapidly and reproducibly discover metabolite patterns in diseases. We present BALSAM—a comprehensive web-platform to simplify and automate this process, [...] Read more.
The field of breath analysis lacks a fully automated analysis platform that enforces machine learning good practice and enables clinicians and clinical researchers to rapidly and reproducibly discover metabolite patterns in diseases. We present BALSAM—a comprehensive web-platform to simplify and automate this process, offering features for preprocessing, peak detection, feature extraction, visualization and pattern discovery. Our main focus is on data from multi-capillary-column ion-mobility-spectrometry. While not limited to breath data, BALSAM was developed to increase consistency and robustness in the data analysis process of breath samples, aiming to expand the array of low cost molecular diagnostics in clinics. Our platform is freely available as a web-service and in form of a publicly available docker container. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computational Strategies in Metabolite Research)
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