263 research outputs found

    Identifying the metabolomic fingerprint of high and low flavonoid consumers

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    High flavonoid consumption can improve vascular health. Exploring flavonoid‚Äďmetabolome relationships in population-based settings is challenging, as: (i) there are numerous confounders of the flavonoid‚Äďmetabolome relationship; and (ii) the set of dependent metabolite variables are inter-related, highly variable and multidimensional. The Metabolite Fingerprint Score has been developed as a means of approaching such data. This study aims to compare its performance with that of more traditional methods, in identifying the metabolomic fingerprint of high and low flavonoid consumers. This study did not aim to identify biomarkers of intake, but rather to explore how systemic metabolism differs in high and low flavonoid consumers. Using liquid chromatography‚Äďtandem MS, 174 circulating plasma metabolites were profiled in 584 men and women who had complete flavonoid intake assessment. Participants were randomised to one of two datasets: (a) training dataset, to determine the models for the discrimination variables (n 399); and (b) validation dataset, to test the capacity of the variables to differentiate higher from lower total flavonoid consumers (n 185). The stepwise and full canonical variables did not discriminate in the validation dataset. The Metabolite Fingerprint Score successfully identified a unique pattern of metabolites that discriminated high from low flavonoid consumers in the validation dataset in a multivariate-adjusted setting, and provides insight into the relationship of flavonoids with systemic lipid metabolism. Given increasing use of metabolomics data in dietary association studies, and the difficulty in validating findings using untargeted metabolomics, this paper is of timely importance to the field of nutrition. However, further validation studies are required

    Cell-State-Specific Metabolic Dependency in Hematopoiesis and Leukemogenesis

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    The balance between oxidative and non-oxidative glucose metabolism is essential for a number of pathophysiological processes. By deleting enzymes that affect aerobic glycolysis with different potencies, we examine how modulating glucose metabolism specifically affects hematopoietic and leukemic cell populations. We find that deficiency in the M2 pyruvate kinase isoform (PKM2) reduces levels of metabolic intermediates important for biosynthesis and impairs progenitor function without perturbing hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), whereas lactate dehydrogenase-A (LDHA) deletion significantly inhibits the function of both HSC and progenitors during hematopoiesis. In contrast, leukemia initiation by transforming alleles putatively affecting either HSC or progenitors is inhibited in the absence of either PKM2 or LDHA, indicating that the cell state-specific responses to metabolic manipulation in hematopoiesis do not apply to the setting of leukemia. This finding suggests that fine-tuning the level of glycolysis may be therapeutically explored for treating leukemia while preserving HSC function.National Institutes of Health (U.S.) (Grants P30CA147882 and R01CA168653)Smith Family FoundationBurroughs Wellcome FundVirginia and D.K. Ludwig Fund for Cancer ResearchDamon Runyon Cancer Research Foundatio

    Germline loss of PKM2 promotes metabolic distress and hepatocellular carcinoma

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    Alternative splicing of the Pkm gene product generates the PKM1 and PKM2 isoforms of pyruvate kinase (PK), and PKM2 expression is closely linked to embryogenesis, tissue regeneration, and cancer. To interrogate the functional requirement for PKM2 during development and tissue homeostasis, we generated germline PKM2-null mice (Pkm2[superscript ‚ąí/‚ąí]). Unexpectedly, despite being the primary isoform expressed in most wild-type adult tissues, we found that Pkm2[superscript ‚ąí/‚ąí] mice are viable and fertile. Thus, PKM2 is not required for embryonic or postnatal development. Loss of PKM2 leads to compensatory expression of PKM1 in the tissues that normally express PKM2. Strikingly, PKM2 loss leads to spontaneous development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with high penetrance that is accompanied by progressive changes in systemic metabolism characterized by altered systemic glucose homeostasis, inflammation, and hepatic steatosis. Therefore, in addition to its role in cancer metabolism, PKM2 plays a role in controlling systemic metabolic homeostasis and inflammation, thereby preventing HCC by a non-cell-autonomous mechanism.National Cancer Institute (U.S.) (Cancer Center Support Grant P30CA14051)Howard Hughes Medical InstituteBurroughs Wellcome FundSmith Family FoundationUnited States. Dept. of Health and Human Services (P01CA117969)United States. Dept. of Health and Human Services (R01CA168653)American Society for Engineering Education. National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate FellowshipJane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Medical Research (Postdoctoral Fellowship

    Identifying therapeutic targets by combining transcriptional data with ordinal clinical measurements

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    The immense and growing repositories of transcriptional data may contain critical insights for developing new therapies. Current approaches to mining these data largely rely on binary classifications of disease vs. control, and are not able to incorporate measures of disease severity. We report an analytical approach to integrate ordinal clinical information with transcriptomics. We apply this method to public data for a large cohort of Huntington's disease patients and controls, identifying and prioritizing phenotype-associated genes. We verify the role of a high-ranked gene in dysregulation of sphingolipid metabolism in the disease and demonstrate that inhibiting the enzyme, sphingosine-1-phosphate lyase 1 (SPL), has neuroprotective effects in Huntington's disease models. Finally, we show that one consequence of inhibiting SPL is intracellular inhibition of histone deacetylases, thus linking our observations in sphingolipid metabolism to a well-characterized Huntington's disease pathway. Our approach is easily applied to any data with ordinal clinical measurements, and may deepen our understanding of disease processes

    A genomic and evolutionary approach reveals non-genetic drug resistance in malaria

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    Background: Drug resistance remains a major public health challenge for malaria treatment and eradication. Individual loci associated with drug resistance to many antimalarials have been identified, but their epistasis with other resistance mechanisms has not yet been elucidated. Results: We previously described two mutations in the cytoplasmic prolyl-tRNA synthetase (cPRS) gene that confer resistance to halofuginone. We describe here the evolutionary trajectory of halofuginone resistance of two independent drug resistance selections in Plasmodium falciparum. Using this novel methodology, we discover an unexpected non-genetic drug resistance mechanism that P. falciparum utilizes before genetic modification of the cPRS. P. falciparum first upregulates its proline amino acid homeostasis in response to halofuginone pressure. We show that this non-genetic adaptation to halofuginone is not likely mediated by differential RNA expression and precedes mutation or amplification of the cPRS gene. By tracking the evolution of the two drug resistance selections with whole genome sequencing, we further demonstrate that the cPRS locus accounts for the majority of genetic adaptation to halofuginone in P. falciparum. We further validate that copy-number variations at the cPRS locus also contribute to halofuginone resistance. Conclusions: We provide a three-step model for multi-locus evolution of halofuginone drug resistance in P. falciparum. Informed by genomic approaches, our results provide the first comprehensive view of the evolutionary trajectory malaria parasites take to achieve drug resistance. Our understanding of the multiple genetic and non-genetic mechanisms of drug resistance informs how we will design and pair future anti-malarials for clinical use. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13059-014-0511-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users
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