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Metabolites, Volume 9, Issue 2 (February 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Cancer metabolic reprogramming has been reported as one of the “hallmarks of cancer”, providing [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Feed Restriction Reveals Distinct Serum Metabolome Profiles in Chickens Divergent in Feed Efficiency Traits
Metabolites 2019, 9(2), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo9020038
Received: 29 January 2019 / Revised: 20 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 25 February 2019
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Abstract
Restrictive feeding influences systemic metabolism of nutrients; however, this impact has not been evaluated in chickens of diverging feed efficiency. This study investigated the effect of ad libitum versus restrictive feeding (85% of ad libitum) on the serum metabolome and white blood cell [...] Read more.
Restrictive feeding influences systemic metabolism of nutrients; however, this impact has not been evaluated in chickens of diverging feed efficiency. This study investigated the effect of ad libitum versus restrictive feeding (85% of ad libitum) on the serum metabolome and white blood cell composition in chickens of diverging residual feed intake (RFI; metric for feed efficiency). Blood samples were collected between days 33 and 37 post-hatch. While serum glucose was similar, serum uric acid and cholesterol were indicative of the nutritional status and chicken’s RFI, respectively. Feed restriction and RFI rank caused distinct serum metabolome profiles, whereby restrictive feeding also increased the blood lymphocyte proportion. Most importantly, 10 amino acids were associated with RFI rank in birds, whereas restrictive feeding affected almost all detected lysophosphatidylcholines, with 3 being higher and 6 being lower in restrictively compared to ad libitum fed chickens. As indicated by relevance networking, isoleucine, lysine, valine, histidine, and ornithine were the most discriminant for high RFI, whereas 3 biogenic amines (carnosine, putrescine, and spermidine) and 3 diacyl-glycerophospholipids (38:4, 38:5, and 40:5) positively correlated with feed intake and body weight gain, respectively. Only for taurine, feed intake mostly explained the RFI-associated variation, whereas for most metabolites, other host physiological factors played a greater role for the RFI-associated differences, and was potentially related to insulin-signaling, phospholipase A2, and arachidonic acid metabolism. Alterations in the hepatic synthesis of long-chain fatty acids and the need for precursors for gluconeogenesis due to varying energy demand may explain the marked differences in serum metabolite profiles in ad libitum and restrictively fed birds. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Sowing Season on Agronomic Traits and Fatty Acid Metabolic Profiling in Three Brassica napus L. Cultivars
Metabolites 2019, 9(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo9020037
Received: 20 December 2018 / Revised: 6 February 2019 / Accepted: 14 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
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Abstract
Decreasing saturated fatty acids and increasing monounsaturated fatty acids are desirable to improve oil for food. Seed oil content and fatty acid composition are affected by genotype and environment. Therefore, we systematically analyzed the agronomic traits and fatty acid metabolic profiling of Brassica [...] Read more.
Decreasing saturated fatty acids and increasing monounsaturated fatty acids are desirable to improve oil for food. Seed oil content and fatty acid composition are affected by genotype and environment. Therefore, we systematically analyzed the agronomic traits and fatty acid metabolic profiling of Brassica napus (B. napus) seeds at different developmental stages in high level of oleic acid (HOA), medium level of oleic acid (MOA), and low level of oleic acid (LOA) B. napus cultivars, both sown in winter and summer. The results showed that all winter-sown cultivars produced 20% more seed yield than the summer-sown crop. The longer growing period of winter-sown B. napus resulted in higher biomass production. However, the fatty acid metabolism of individual cultivars was different between winter-sown rape (WAT) and summer-sown rape (SAT). The absolute fatty acid content of LOA and MOA cultivars in WAT were significantly higher than that in SAT, but that of HOA was opposite. Importantly, the levels of monounsaturated fatty acids (18:1; 20:1) in SAT were far more than those in WAT. These data indicate the quality of oil from the HOA in SAT is more suitable for human consumption than that in WAT. Full article
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Open AccessReview Function, Detection and Alteration of Acylcarnitine Metabolism in Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Metabolites 2019, 9(2), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo9020036
Received: 11 January 2019 / Revised: 7 February 2019 / Accepted: 14 February 2019 / Published: 21 February 2019
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Abstract
Acylcarnitines play an essential role in regulating the balance of intracellular sugar and lipid metabolism. They serve as carriers to transport activated long-chain fatty acids into mitochondria for β-oxidation as a major source of energy for cell activities. The liver is the most [...] Read more.
Acylcarnitines play an essential role in regulating the balance of intracellular sugar and lipid metabolism. They serve as carriers to transport activated long-chain fatty acids into mitochondria for β-oxidation as a major source of energy for cell activities. The liver is the most important organ for endogenous carnitine synthesis and metabolism. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a primary malignancy of the live with poor prognosis, may strongly influence the level of acylcarnitines. In this paper, the function, detection and alteration of acylcarnitine metabolism in HCC were briefly reviewed. An overview was provided to introduce the metabolic roles of acylcarnitines involved in fatty acid β-oxidation. Then different analytical platforms and methodologies were also briefly summarised. The relationship between HCC and acylcarnitine metabolism was described. Many of the studies reported that short, medium and long-chain acylcarnitines were altered in HCC patients. These findings presented current evidence in support of acylcarnitines as new candidate biomarkers for studies on the pathogenesis and development of HCC. Finally we discussed the challenges and perspectives of exploiting acylcarnitine metabolism and its related metabolic pathways as a target for HCC diagnosis and prognosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Metabolomics 2018)
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Open AccessArticle A Noninvasive Comparison Study between Human Gliomas with IDH1 and IDH2 Mutations by MR Spectroscopy
Metabolites 2019, 9(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo9020035
Received: 11 December 2018 / Revised: 5 February 2019 / Accepted: 15 February 2019 / Published: 20 February 2019
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Abstract
The oncogenes that are expressed in gliomas reprogram particular pathways of glucose, amino acids, and fatty acid metabolism. Mutations in isocitrate dehydrogenase genes (IDH1/2) in diffuse gliomas are associated with abnormally high levels of 2-hydroxyglutarate (2-HG) levels. The aim of this study was [...] Read more.
The oncogenes that are expressed in gliomas reprogram particular pathways of glucose, amino acids, and fatty acid metabolism. Mutations in isocitrate dehydrogenase genes (IDH1/2) in diffuse gliomas are associated with abnormally high levels of 2-hydroxyglutarate (2-HG) levels. The aim of this study was to determine whether metabolic reprogramming associated with IDH mutant gliomas leads to additional 1H MRS-detectable differences between IDH1 and IDH2 mutations, and to identify metabolites correlated with 2-HG. A total of 21 glioma patients (age= 37 ± 11, 13 males) were recruited for magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) using semi-localization by adiabatic selective refocusing pulse sequence at an ultra-high-field (7T). For 20 patients, the tumor mutation subtype was confirmed by immunohistochemistry and DNA sequencing. LCModel analysis was applied for metabolite quantification. A two-sample t-test was used for metabolite comparisons between IDH1 (n = 15) and IDH2 (n = 5) mutant gliomas. The Pearson correlation coefficients between 2-HG and associated metabolites were calculated. A Bonferroni correction was applied for multiple comparison. IDH2 mutant gliomas have a higher level of 2-HG/tCho (total choline=phosphocholine+glycerylphosphorylcholine) (2.48 ± 1.01vs.0.72 ± 0.38, Pc < 0.001) and myo-Inositol/tCho (2.70 ± 0.90 vs. 1.46 ± 0.51, Pc = 0.011) compared to IDH1 mutation gliomas. Associated metabolites, myo-Inositol and glucose+taurine were correlated with 2-HG levels. These results show the improved characterization of the metabolic pathways in IDH1 and IDH2 gliomas for precision medicine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolomics in the Study of Disease)
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Open AccessReview Metabolomics Approaches for the Diagnosis and Understanding of Kidney Diseases
Metabolites 2019, 9(2), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo9020034
Received: 10 October 2018 / Revised: 29 January 2019 / Accepted: 5 February 2019 / Published: 14 February 2019
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Abstract
Diseases of the kidney are difficult to diagnose and treat. This review summarises the definition, cause, epidemiology and treatment of some of these diseases including chronic kidney disease, diabetic nephropathy, acute kidney injury, kidney cancer, kidney transplantation and polycystic kidney diseases. Numerous studies [...] Read more.
Diseases of the kidney are difficult to diagnose and treat. This review summarises the definition, cause, epidemiology and treatment of some of these diseases including chronic kidney disease, diabetic nephropathy, acute kidney injury, kidney cancer, kidney transplantation and polycystic kidney diseases. Numerous studies have adopted a metabolomics approach to uncover new small molecule biomarkers of kidney diseases to improve specificity and sensitivity of diagnosis and to uncover biochemical mechanisms that may elucidate the cause and progression of these diseases. This work includes a description of mass spectrometry-based metabolomics approaches, including some of the currently available tools, and emphasises findings from metabolomics studies of kidney diseases. We have included a varied selection of studies (disease, model, sample number, analytical platform) and focused on metabolites which were commonly reported as discriminating features between kidney disease and a control. These metabolites are likely to be robust indicators of kidney disease processes, and therefore potential biomarkers, warranting further investigation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Identification and Quantification of Enniatins and Beauvericin in Animal Feeds and Their Ingredients by LC-QTRAP/MS/MS
Metabolites 2019, 9(2), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo9020033
Received: 8 January 2019 / Revised: 7 February 2019 / Accepted: 11 February 2019 / Published: 13 February 2019
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Abstract
Emerging fusariotoxins, mainly enniatins (ENNs) and beauvericin (BEA), are secondary toxic metabolites produced by Fusarium spp. and are widely distributed contaminants of cereals and by-products. Mycotoxin contamination in these products supposes an important risk to feed supply security in the feed industry due [...] Read more.
Emerging fusariotoxins, mainly enniatins (ENNs) and beauvericin (BEA), are secondary toxic metabolites produced by Fusarium spp. and are widely distributed contaminants of cereals and by-products. Mycotoxin contamination in these products supposes an important risk to feed supply security in the feed industry due to the common use of cereals in feed formulations. Hence, continuous monitoring of both raw materials and feed mixtures is highly recommended as stated by sanitary authorities. Therefore, an analytical procedure based on liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry and an acetonitrile-based extraction followed by a d-SPE (QuEChERS) step for the simultaneous determination of emerging Fusarium mycotoxins was in-house validated and successfully applied to raw materials (n = 39) and feed manufactured with them (n = 48). The analytical method was validated following the European guidelines and satisfactory results were obtained. Both raw materials and complete feedstuffs showed mycotoxin contamination at incidences of 18% and 92%, respectively. ENN B was the most commonly found mycotoxin in the analyzed samples at concentrations up to several tens of µg/kg. On the other hand, the co-occurrence of mycotoxins was observed in 47% of samples, ENN B and BEA being the most common combination. These results highlight the necessity to take a vigilant attitude to monitor the occurrence of contaminants in raw materials and feedstuffs throughout the manufacturing chain and storage. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Sample Preparation Methods for the Analysis of Reef-Building Corals Using 1H-NMR-Based Metabolomics
Metabolites 2019, 9(2), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo9020032
Received: 20 December 2018 / Revised: 8 February 2019 / Accepted: 10 February 2019 / Published: 13 February 2019
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Abstract
The field of metabolomics generally lacks standardized methods for the preparation of samples prior to analysis. This is especially true for metabolomics of reef-building corals, where the handful of studies that were published employ a range of sample preparation protocols. The utilization of [...] Read more.
The field of metabolomics generally lacks standardized methods for the preparation of samples prior to analysis. This is especially true for metabolomics of reef-building corals, where the handful of studies that were published employ a range of sample preparation protocols. The utilization of metabolomics may prove essential in understanding coral biology in the face of increasing environmental threats, and an optimized method for preparing coral samples for metabolomics analysis would aid this cause. The current study evaluates three important steps during sample processing of stony corals: (i) metabolite extraction, (ii) metabolism preservation, and (iii) subsampling. Results indicate that a modified Bligh and Dyer extraction is more reproducible across multiple coral species compared to methyl tert-butyl ether and methanol extractions, while a methanol extraction is superior for feature detection. Additionally, few differences were detected between spectra from frozen or lyophilized coral samples. Finally, extraction of entire coral nubbins increased feature detection, but decreased throughput and was more susceptible to subsampling error compared to a novel tissue powder subsampling method. Overall, we recommend the use of a modified Bligh and Dyer extraction, lyophilized samples, and the analysis of brushed tissue powder for the preparation of reef-building coral samples for 1H NMR metabolomics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Metabolomics)
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Open AccessArticle Palmitate and Stearate are Increased in the Plasma in a 6-OHDA Model of Parkinson’s Disease
Metabolites 2019, 9(2), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo9020031
Received: 30 December 2018 / Revised: 6 February 2019 / Accepted: 9 February 2019 / Published: 13 February 2019
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Abstract
Introduction: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, without any widely available curative therapy. Metabolomics is a powerful tool which can be used to identify unexpected pathway-related disease progression and pathophysiological mechanisms. In this study, metabolomics in brain, plasma and [...] Read more.
Introduction: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, without any widely available curative therapy. Metabolomics is a powerful tool which can be used to identify unexpected pathway-related disease progression and pathophysiological mechanisms. In this study, metabolomics in brain, plasma and liver was investigated in an experimental PD model, to discover small molecules that are associated with dopaminergic cell loss. Methods: Sprague Dawley (SD) rats were injected unilaterally with 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) or saline for the vehicle control group into the medial forebrain bundle (MFB) to induce loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta. Plasma, midbrain and liver samples were collected for metabolic profiling. Multivariate and univariate analyses revealed metabolites that were altered in the PD group. Results: In plasma, palmitic acid (q = 3.72 × 10−2, FC = 1.81) and stearic acid (q = 3.84 × 10−2, FC = 2.15), were found to be increased in the PD group. Palmitic acid (q = 3.5 × 10−2) and stearic acid (q = 2.7 × 10−2) correlated with test scores indicative of motor dysfunction. Monopalmitin (q = 4.8 × 10−2, FC = −11.7), monostearin (q = 3.72 × 10−2, FC = −15.1) and myo-inositol (q = 3.81 × 10−2, FC = −3.32), were reduced in the midbrain. The liver did not have altered levels of these molecules. Conclusion: Our results show that saturated free fatty acids, their monoglycerides and myo-inositol metabolism in the midbrain and enteric circulation are associated with 6-OHDA-induced PD pathology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolomics in Neurodegenerative Disease)
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Open AccessArticle MALDI-TOF-MS Analysis in the Identification of Urine Proteomic Patterns of Gestational Trophoblastic Disease
Metabolites 2019, 9(2), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo9020030
Received: 20 November 2018 / Revised: 2 February 2019 / Accepted: 3 February 2019 / Published: 9 February 2019
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Abstract
Gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD) is a group of highly aggressive, rare tumors. Human chorionic gonadotropin is a common biomarker used in the diagnosis and monitoring of GTD. To improve our knowledge of the pathology of GTD, we performed protein-peptide profiling on the urine [...] Read more.
Gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD) is a group of highly aggressive, rare tumors. Human chorionic gonadotropin is a common biomarker used in the diagnosis and monitoring of GTD. To improve our knowledge of the pathology of GTD, we performed protein-peptide profiling on the urine of patients affected with gestational trophoblastic neoplasm (GTN). We analyzed urine samples from patients diagnosed with GTN (n = 26) and from healthy pregnant and non-pregnant controls (n = 17) using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS). Ions were examined in a linear mode over a m/z range of 1000–10,000. All GTN urine samples were analyzed before and after treatment and compared with those of the controls. The statistical analyses included multivariate classification algorithms as well as ROC curves. Urine sample analyses revealed there were significant differences in the composition of the ions between the evaluated groups. Comparing the pre-treatment and group with the pregnant controls, we identified two discriminatory proteins: hemoglobin subunit α (m/z = 1951.81) and complement C4A (m/z = 1895.43). Then, comparing urine samples from the post-treatment cases with those from the non-pregnant controls, we identified the peptides uromodulin fragments (m/z = 1682.34 and 1913.54) and complement C4A (m/z = 1895.43). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolomics of Complex Traits)
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Open AccessReview Current Developments in µMAS NMR Analysis for Metabolomics
Metabolites 2019, 9(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo9020029
Received: 26 December 2018 / Revised: 2 February 2019 / Accepted: 4 February 2019 / Published: 6 February 2019
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Abstract
Analysis of microscopic specimens has emerged as a useful analytical application in metabolomics because of its capacity for characterizing a highly homogenous sample with a specific interest. The undeviating analysis helps to unfold the hidden activities in a bulk specimen and contributes to [...] Read more.
Analysis of microscopic specimens has emerged as a useful analytical application in metabolomics because of its capacity for characterizing a highly homogenous sample with a specific interest. The undeviating analysis helps to unfold the hidden activities in a bulk specimen and contributes to the understanding of the fundamental metabolisms in life. In NMR spectroscopy, micro(µ)-probe technology is well-established and -adopted to the microscopic level of biofluids. However, this is quite the contrary with specimens such as tissue, cell and organism. This is due to the substantial difficulty of developing a sufficient µ-size magic-angle spinning (MAS) probe for sub-milligram specimens with the capability of high-quality data acquisition. It was not until 2012; a µMAS probe had emerged and shown promises to µg analysis; since, a continuous advancement has been made striving for the possibility of µMAS to be an effective NMR spectroscopic analysis. Herein, the mini-review highlights the progress of µMAS development—from an impossible scenario to an attainable solution—and describes a few demonstrative metabolic profiling studies. The review will also discuss the current challenges in µMAS NMR analysis and its potential to metabolomics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue NMR-based Metabolomics and Its Applications Volume 2)
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Open AccessArticle Consistency, Inconsistency, and Ambiguity of Metabolite Names in Biochemical Databases Used for Genome-Scale Metabolic Modelling
Metabolites 2019, 9(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo9020028
Received: 28 December 2018 / Revised: 24 January 2019 / Accepted: 31 January 2019 / Published: 6 February 2019
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Abstract
Genome-scale metabolic models (GEMs) are manually curated repositories describing the metabolic capabilities of an organism. GEMs have been successfully used in different research areas, ranging from systems medicine to biotechnology. However, the different naming conventions (namespaces) of databases used to build GEMs limit [...] Read more.
Genome-scale metabolic models (GEMs) are manually curated repositories describing the metabolic capabilities of an organism. GEMs have been successfully used in different research areas, ranging from systems medicine to biotechnology. However, the different naming conventions (namespaces) of databases used to build GEMs limit model reusability and prevent the integration of existing models. This problem is known in the GEM community, but its extent has not been analyzed in depth. In this study, we investigate the name ambiguity and the multiplicity of non-systematic identifiers and we highlight the (in)consistency in their use in 11 biochemical databases of biochemical reactions and the problems that arise when mapping between different namespaces and databases. We found that such inconsistencies can be as high as 83.1%, thus emphasizing the need for strategies to deal with these issues. Currently, manual verification of the mappings appears to be the only solution to remove inconsistencies when combining models. Finally, we discuss several possible approaches to facilitate (future) unambiguous mapping. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Metabolomic Profiling of Cerebral Palsy Brain Tissue Reveals Novel Central Biomarkers and Biochemical Pathways Associated with the Disease: A Pilot Study
Metabolites 2019, 9(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo9020027
Received: 9 January 2019 / Revised: 29 January 2019 / Accepted: 31 January 2019 / Published: 2 February 2019
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Abstract
Cerebral palsy (CP) is one of the most common causes of motor disability in childhood, with complex and heterogeneous etiopathophysiology and clinical presentation. Understanding the metabolic processes associated with the disease may aid in the discovery of preventive measures and therapy. Tissue samples [...] Read more.
Cerebral palsy (CP) is one of the most common causes of motor disability in childhood, with complex and heterogeneous etiopathophysiology and clinical presentation. Understanding the metabolic processes associated with the disease may aid in the discovery of preventive measures and therapy. Tissue samples (caudate nucleus) were obtained from post-mortem CP cases (n = 9) and age- and gender-matched control subjects (n = 11). We employed a targeted metabolomics approach using both 1H NMR and direct injection liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (DI/LC-MS/MS). We accurately identified and quantified 55 metabolites using 1H NMR and 186 using DI/LC-MS/MS. Among the 222 detected metabolites, 27 showed significant concentration changes between CP cases and controls. Glycerophospholipids and urea were the most commonly selected metabolites used to develop predictive models capable of discriminating between CP and controls. Metabolomics enrichment analysis identified folate, propanoate, and androgen/estrogen metabolism as the top three significantly perturbed pathways. We report for the first time the metabolomic profiling of post-mortem brain tissue from patients who died from cerebral palsy. These findings could help to further investigate the complex etiopathophysiology of CP while identifying predictive, central biomarkers of CP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolomics in Neurodegenerative Disease)
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Open AccessArticle Activation Studies of the β-Carbonic Anhydrase from the Pathogenic Protozoan Entamoeba histolytica with Amino Acids and Amines
Metabolites 2019, 9(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo9020026
Received: 24 December 2018 / Revised: 23 January 2019 / Accepted: 31 January 2019 / Published: 1 February 2019
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The β-carbonic anhydrase (CA, EC 4.2.1.1) from the pathogenic protozoan Entamoeba histolytica, EhiCA, was investigated for its activation with a panel of natural and non-natural amino acids and amines. EhiCA was potently activated by D-His, D-Phe, D-DOPA, L- and D-Trp, L- and [...] Read more.
The β-carbonic anhydrase (CA, EC 4.2.1.1) from the pathogenic protozoan Entamoeba histolytica, EhiCA, was investigated for its activation with a panel of natural and non-natural amino acids and amines. EhiCA was potently activated by D-His, D-Phe, D-DOPA, L- and D-Trp, L- and D-Tyr, 4-amino-L-Tyr, histamine and serotonin, with KAs ranging between 1.07 and 10.1 µM. The best activator was D-Tyr (KA of 1.07 µM). L-Phe, L-DOPA, L-adrenaline, L-Asn, L-Asp, L-Glu and L-Gln showed medium potency activation, with KAs of 16.5–25.6 µM. Some heterocyclic- alkyl amines, such as 2-pyridyl-methyl/ethyl-amine and 4-(2-aminoethyl)-morpholine, were devoid of EhiCA activating properties with KAs > 100 µM. As CA activators have poorly been investigated for their interaction with protozoan CAs, our study may be relevant for an improved understanding of the role of this enzyme in the life cycle of E. histolytica. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbonic Anhydrases and Metabolism)
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Open AccessReview The OMICs Window into Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)
Metabolites 2019, 9(2), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo9020025
Received: 31 December 2018 / Revised: 26 January 2019 / Accepted: 30 January 2019 / Published: 1 February 2019
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Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a common cause of hepatic abnormalities worldwide. Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is part of the spectrum of NAFLD and leads to progressive liver disease, such as cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. In NASH patient, fibrosis represents the major predictor [...] Read more.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a common cause of hepatic abnormalities worldwide. Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is part of the spectrum of NAFLD and leads to progressive liver disease, such as cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. In NASH patient, fibrosis represents the major predictor of liver-related mortality; therefore, it is important to have an early and accurate diagnosis of NASH. The current gold standard for the diagnosis of NASH is still liver biopsy. The development of biomarkers able to predict disease severity, prognosis, as well as response to therapy without the need for a biopsy is the focus of most up-to-date genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic, and metabolomic research. In the future, patients might be diagnosed and treated according to their molecular signatures. In this short review, we discuss how information from genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics contribute to the understanding of NAFLD pathogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolism and Metabolomics of Liver in Health and Disease)
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Open AccessArticle Metabolic Alterations in Male-Sterile Potato as Compared to Male-Fertile
Metabolites 2019, 9(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo9020024
Received: 4 December 2018 / Revised: 21 January 2019 / Accepted: 22 January 2019 / Published: 1 February 2019
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Abstract
The common potato, Solanum tuberosum L., is the fourth most important agricultural crop worldwide. Until recently, vegetative propagation by tubers has been the main method of potato cultivation. A shift of interest to sexual potato reproduction by true botanical seeds is due to [...] Read more.
The common potato, Solanum tuberosum L., is the fourth most important agricultural crop worldwide. Until recently, vegetative propagation by tubers has been the main method of potato cultivation. A shift of interest to sexual potato reproduction by true botanical seeds is due to the appearance of a new hybrid seed breeding strategy whose successful application for many crop species has been supported by male sterility. This investigation was focused on the study of differences in the metabolite profiles of anthers at the mature pollen stage from male-fertile and male-sterile genotypes of S. tuberosum. Application of gas chromatography coupled with a mass spectrometry method allowed detection of metabolic profiles for 192 compounds. Further data analysis with several libraries fully identified 75 metabolites; a similar amount was defined up to the classes. Metabolic profiles in the anthers of fertile genotypes were significantly distinguished from male-sterile ones by the accumulation of carbohydrates, while the anthers of sterile genotypes contained a higher amount of amino acids. In comparison with male-fertile plants, male-sterile genotypes had undeveloped pollen grain characters; i.e., smaller grain size, a thicker exine, “permanent tetrads” that failed to disintegrate into microspores, and the absence of pollen apertures that might be due to a disorder in the metabolism of carbohydrates and fatty acids. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Crosstalk between Metabolic Alterations and Altered Redox Balance in PTC-Derived Cell Lines
Metabolites 2019, 9(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo9020023
Received: 20 December 2018 / Revised: 23 January 2019 / Accepted: 29 January 2019 / Published: 1 February 2019
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Abstract
Background: Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine malignancy, with papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) being the most common (85–90%) among all the different types of thyroid carcinomas. Cancer cells show metabolic alterations and, due to their rapid proliferation, an accumulation of reactive [...] Read more.
Background: Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine malignancy, with papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) being the most common (85–90%) among all the different types of thyroid carcinomas. Cancer cells show metabolic alterations and, due to their rapid proliferation, an accumulation of reactive oxygen species, playing a fundamental role in cancer development and progression. Currently, the crosstalk among thyrocytes metabolism, redox balance and oncogenic mutations remain poorly characterized. The aim of this study was to investigate the interplay among metabolic alterations, redox homeostasis and oncogenic mutations in PTC-derived cells. Methods: Metabolic and redox profile, glutamate-cysteine ligase, glutaminase-1 and metabolic transporters were evaluated in PTC-derived cell lines with distinguished genetic background (TPC-1, K1 and B-CPAP), as well as in an immortalized thyroid cell line (Nthy-ori3-1) selected as control. Results: PTC-derived cells, particularly B-CPAP cells, harboring BRAF, TP53 and human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) mutation, displayed an increase of metabolites and transporters involved in energetic pathways. Furthermore, all PTC-derived cells showed altered redox homeostasis, as reported by the decreased antioxidant ratios, as well as the increased levels of intracellular oxidant species. Conclusion: Our findings confirmed the pivotal role of the metabolism and redox state regulation in the PTC biology. Particularly, the most perturbed metabolic phenotypes were found in B-CPAP cells, which are characterized by the most aggressive genetic background. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Metabolomics 2019)
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Open AccessReview Metabolic Modeling of Human Gut Microbiota on a Genome Scale: An Overview
Metabolites 2019, 9(2), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo9020022
Received: 25 November 2018 / Revised: 23 January 2019 / Accepted: 24 January 2019 / Published: 28 January 2019
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Abstract
There is growing interest in the metabolic interplay between the gut microbiome and host metabolism. Taxonomic and functional profiling of the gut microbiome by next-generation sequencing (NGS) has unveiled substantial richness and diversity. However, the mechanisms underlying interactions between diet, gut microbiome and [...] Read more.
There is growing interest in the metabolic interplay between the gut microbiome and host metabolism. Taxonomic and functional profiling of the gut microbiome by next-generation sequencing (NGS) has unveiled substantial richness and diversity. However, the mechanisms underlying interactions between diet, gut microbiome and host metabolism are still poorly understood. Genome-scale metabolic modeling (GSMM) is an emerging approach that has been increasingly applied to infer diet–microbiome, microbe–microbe and host–microbe interactions under physiological conditions. GSMM can, for example, be applied to estimate the metabolic capabilities of microbes in the gut. Here, we discuss how meta-omics datasets such as shotgun metagenomics, can be processed and integrated to develop large-scale, condition-specific, personalized microbiota models in healthy and disease states. Furthermore, we summarize various tools and resources available for metagenomic data processing and GSMM, highlighting the experimental approaches needed to validate the model predictions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle NMR Metabolomic Analysis of Skeletal Muscle, Heart, and Liver of Hatchling Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta) Experimentally Exposed to Crude Oil and/or Corexit
Metabolites 2019, 9(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo9020021
Received: 21 December 2018 / Revised: 20 January 2019 / Accepted: 23 January 2019 / Published: 26 January 2019
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Abstract
We used nuclear magnetic spectroscopy (NMR) to evaluate the metabolic impacts of crude oil, Corexit 5900A, a dispersant, and a crude oil Corexit 5900A mixture exposure on skeletal muscle, heart, and liver physiology of hatchling loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta). Tissue [...] Read more.
We used nuclear magnetic spectroscopy (NMR) to evaluate the metabolic impacts of crude oil, Corexit 5900A, a dispersant, and a crude oil Corexit 5900A mixture exposure on skeletal muscle, heart, and liver physiology of hatchling loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta). Tissue samples were obtained from 22 seven-day-old hatchlings after a four day cutaneous exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of crude oil, Corexit 5900A, a combination of crude oil and Corexit 9500A, or a seawater control. We identified 38 metabolites in the aqueous extracts of the liver, and 30 metabolites in both the skeletal and heart muscle aqueous extracts, including organic acids/osmolytes, energy compounds, amino acids, ketone bodies, nucleosides, and nucleotides. Skeletal muscle lactate, creatines, and taurine concentrations were significantly lower in hatchlings exposed to crude oil than in control hatchlings. Lactate, taurine, and cholines appeared to be the basis of some variation in hatchling heart samples, and liver inosine, uracil, and uridine appeared to be influenced by Corexit and crude oil exposure. Observed decreases in concentrations of lactate and creatines may reflect energy depletion in skeletal muscle of oil-exposed animals, while decreased taurine concentrations in these animals may reflect higher oxidative stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue NMR-based Metabolomics and Its Applications Volume 2)
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Open AccessArticle The Methoxylated, Highly Conjugated C40 Carotenoids, Spirilloxanthin and Anhydrorhodovibrin, Can Be Separated Using High Performance Liquid Chromatography with Safe and Environmentally Friendly Solvents
Metabolites 2019, 9(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo9020020
Received: 10 December 2018 / Revised: 11 January 2019 / Accepted: 19 January 2019 / Published: 24 January 2019
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Abstract
High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) is a frequently used technique in carotenoid research. So far, however, little attention has been paid to the fact that many of the organic solvents used in HPLC separation of highly apolar C40 carotenoids impose a significant [...] Read more.
High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) is a frequently used technique in carotenoid research. So far, however, little attention has been paid to the fact that many of the organic solvents used in HPLC separation of highly apolar C40 carotenoids impose a significant threat to both health (especially for women) and the general laboratory environment. Here, we developed a solvent combination capable of allowing high-resolution HPLC separation of the C40 carotenoid, spirilloxanthin, and all of its biosynthetic precursors beginning with phytoene, using relatively safe, environmentally friendly solvents. We show that separation of spirilloxanthin and its precursors anhydrorhodovibrin and lycopene using modern ultra-high performance chromatography (UHPLC) poses particular problems for apolar carotenoid separation, due to the long residence times in the sample delivery system, which facilitates carotenoid aggregation. We resolved these problems by developing the solvent delivery combination acetone/acetonitrile/isopropanol/methanol (65/30/5/2 (v/v/v/v)), which allows excellent column separation using the safe isocratic solvent system methanol/tetrahydrofuran (98/2 (v/v)). We also demonstrate that the development strategy for optimizing a solvent system for carotenoid separation can be well-described by the use of the average dielectric constant of the total sample delivery solvent, and present a formal method for analysis of the efficiency of separation. Full article
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Open AccessReview HR-MAS NMR Based Quantitative Metabolomics in Breast Cancer
Metabolites 2019, 9(2), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo9020019
Received: 16 December 2018 / Revised: 17 January 2019 / Accepted: 18 January 2019 / Published: 22 January 2019
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Abstract
High resolution magic-angle spinning (HR-MAS) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is increasingly used for profiling of breast cancer tissue, delivering quantitative information for approximately 40 metabolites. One unique advantage of the method is that it can be used to analyse intact tissue, thereby [...] Read more.
High resolution magic-angle spinning (HR-MAS) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is increasingly used for profiling of breast cancer tissue, delivering quantitative information for approximately 40 metabolites. One unique advantage of the method is that it can be used to analyse intact tissue, thereby requiring only minimal sample preparation. Importantly, since the method is non-destructive, it allows further investigations of the same specimen using for instance transcriptomics. Here, we discuss technical aspects critical for a successful analysis—including sample handling, measurement conditions, pulse sequences for one- and two dimensional analysis, and quantification methods—and summarize available studies, with a focus on significant associations of metabolite levels with clinically relevant parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Metabolomics 2018)
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