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  • Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Metabolites in 2019
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2020-01-17
    Metabolites Editorial Office

    No abstract available

  • Study of the Royal Jelly Free Fatty Acids by Liquid Chromatography-High Resolution Mass Spectrometry (LC-HRMS)
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2020-01-16
    Maroula G. Kokotou; Christiana Mantzourani; Rodalia Babaiti; George Kokotos

    The lipidome of royal jelly (RJ) consists of medium-chained (8–12 carbon atoms) free fatty acids. We present herein a liquid chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) method that permits the determination of RJ fatty acids and at the same time the detection of suspect fatty acids. The method allows for the direct quantification of seven free fatty acids of RJ, avoiding any derivatization step. It was validated and applied in seven RJ samples, where the major RJ fatty acid trans-10-hydroxy-2-decenoic acid (10-HDA) was found to vary from 0.771 ± 0.08 to 0.928 ± 0.04 g/100 g fresh RJ. Four additional suspect fatty acids were simultaneously detected taking advantage of the HRMS detection.

  • Sulfonamide Inhibition Profile of the β-Carbonic Anhydrase from Malassezia restricta, An Opportunistic Pathogen Triggering Scalp Conditions
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2020-01-16
    Sonia Del Prete; Andrea Angeli; Cynthia Ghobril; Julien Hitce; Cécile Clavaud; Xavier Marat; Claudiu T. Supuran; Clemente Capasso

    The critical CO2 hydration reaction to bicarbonate and protons is catalyzed by carbonic anhydrases (CAs, EC Their physiological role is to assist the transport of the CO2 and HCO3− at the cellular level, which will not be ensured by the low velocity of the uncatalyzed reaction. CA inhibition may impair the growth of microorganisms. In the yeasts, Candida albicans and Malassezia globosa, the activity of the unique β-CA identified in their genomes was demonstrated to be essential for growth of the pathogen. Here, we decided to investigate the sulfonamide inhibition profile of the homologous β-CA (MreCA) identified in the genome of Malassezia restricta, an opportunistic pathogen triggering dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. Among 40 investigated derivatives, the best MreCA sulfonamide inhibitors were dorzolamide, brinzolamide, indisulam, valdecoxib, sulthiam, and acetazolamide (KI < 1.0 μM). The MreCA inhibition profile was different from those of the homologous enzyme from Malassezia globosa (MgCA) and the human isoenzymes (hCA I and hCA II). These results might be useful to for designing CA inhibitor scaffolds that may selectively inhibit the dandruff-producing fungi.

  • Comparative Analysis of β-Carotene Production by Mucor circinelloides Strains CBS 277.49 and WJ11 under Light and Dark Conditions
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2020-01-16
    Tahira Naz; Shaista Nosheen; Shaoqi Li; Yusuf Nazir; Kiren Mustafa; Qing Liu; Victoriano Garre; Yuanda Song

    Carotenoids are natural potent antioxidants and free radical scavengers which are able to modulate the pathogenesis of some cancers and heart diseases in human, indicating their importance in being provided through the diet. Mucor circinelloides accumulates β-carotene as the main carotenoid compound and has been used as a model organism in carotenogenic studies. In the present study, the potential of two M. circinelloides strains to accumulate β-carotene was investigated under light and dark conditions. The results, which were quantitated by HPLC, showed that CBS 277.49 accumulated higher pigment in comparison to WJ11 under both conditions. Continuous illumination triggered the pigment accumulation up to 2.7-fold in strain CBS 277.49 and 2.2-fold in strain WJ11 in comparison to dark. The mRNA analysis of the four key genes involved in isoprenoid pathway by RT-qPCR showed higher transcriptional levels in CBS 277.49 as compared to WJ11, indicating that the pigment production metabolic machinery is more active in CBS 277.49 strain. A new scope for further research was established by this work for improved β-carotene production in the high producing strain CBS 277.49.

  • Metabolomics in the Context of Plant Natural Products Research: From Sample Preparation to Metabolite Analysis
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2020-01-15
    Mohamed A. Salem; Leonardo Perez de Souza; Ahmed Serag; Alisdair R. Fernie; Mohamed A. Farag; Shahira M. Ezzat; Saleh Alseekh

    Plant-derived natural products have long been considered a valuable source of lead compounds for drug development. Natural extracts are usually composed of hundreds to thousands of metabolites, whereby the bioactivity of natural extracts can be represented by synergism between several metabolites. However, isolating every single compound from a natural extract is not always possible due to the complex chemistry and presence of most secondary metabolites at very low levels. Metabolomics has emerged in recent years as an indispensable tool for the analysis of thousands of metabolites from crude natural extracts, leading to a paradigm shift in natural products drug research. Analytical methods such as mass spectrometry (MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) are used to comprehensively annotate the constituents of plant natural products for screening, drug discovery as well as for quality control purposes such as those required for phytomedicine. In this review, the current advancements in plant sample preparation, sample measurements, and data analysis are presented alongside a few case studies of the successful applications of these processes in plant natural product drug discovery.

  • Cervicovaginal Microbiome and Urine Metabolome Paired Analysis Reveals Niche Partitioning of the Microbiota in Patients with Human Papilloma Virus Infections
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2020-01-15
    Nataliya Chorna; Josefina Romaguera; Filipa Godoy-Vitorino

    In this study, we evaluate the association between vaginal and cervical human papillomavirus infections high-risk types (HPV+H), negative controls (HPV−), the bacterial biota, and urinary metabolites via integration of metagenomics, metabolomics, and bioinformatics analysis. We recently proposed that testing urine as a biofluid could be a non-invasive method for the detection of cervical HPV+H infections by evaluating the association between cervical HPV types and a total of 24 urinary metabolites identified in the samples. As a follow-up study, we expanded the analysis by pairing the urine metabolome data with vaginal and cervical microbiota in selected samples from 19 Puerto Rican women diagnosed with HPV+H infections and HPV− controls, using a novel comprehensive framework, Model-based Integration of Metabolite Observations and Species Abundances 2 (MIMOSA2). This approach enabled us to estimate the functional activities of the cervicovaginal microbiome associated with HPV+H infections. Our results suggest that HPV+H infections could induce changes in physicochemical properties of the genital tract through which niche partitioning may occur. As a result, Lactobacillus sp. enrichment coincided with the depletion of L. iners and Shuttleworthia, which dominate under normal physiological conditions. Changes in the diversity of microbial species in HPV+H groups influence the capacity of new community members to produce or consume metabolites. In particular, the functionalities of four metabolic enzymes were predicted to be associated with the microbiota, including acylphosphatase, prolyl aminopeptidase, prolyl-tRNA synthetase, and threonyl-tRNA synthetase. Such metabolic changes may influence systemic health effects in women at risk of developing cervical cancer. Overall, even assuming the limitation of the power due to the small sample number, our study adds to current knowledge by suggesting how microbial taxonomic and metabolic shifts induced by HPV infections may influence the maintenance of microbial homeostasis and indicate that HPV+H infections may alter the ecological balance of the cervicovaginal microbiota, resulting in higher bacterial diversity.

  • Metabolomic Profiling of Fungal Pathogens Responsible for Root Rot in American Ginseng
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2020-01-14
    Natasha DesRochers; Jacob P. Walsh; Justin B. Renaud; Keith A. Seifert; Ken K.-C. Yeung; Mark W. Sumarah

    Ginseng root is an economically valuable crop in Canada at high risk of yield loss caused by the pathogenic fungus Ilyonectria mors-panacis, formerly known as Cylindrocarpon destructans. While this pathogen has been well-characterized from morphological and genetic perspectives, little is known about the secondary metabolites it produces and their role in pathogenicity. We used an untargeted tandem liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS)-based approach paired with global natural products social molecular networking (GNPS) to compare the metabolite profiles of virulent and avirulent Ilyonectria strains. The ethyl acetate extracts of 22 I. mors-panacis strains and closely related species were analyzed by LC-MS/MS. Principal component analysis of LC-MS features resulted in two distinct groups, which corresponded to virulent and avirulent Ilyonectria strains. Virulent strains produced more types of compounds than the avirulent strains. The previously reported I. mors-panacis antifungal compound radicicol was present. Additionally, a number of related resorcyclic acid lactones (RALs) were putatively identified, namely pochonins and several additional derivatives of radicicol. Pochonins have not been previously reported in Ilyonectria spp. and have documented antimicrobial activity. This research contributes to our understanding of I. mors-panacis natural products and its pathogenic relationship with ginseng.

  • Comprehensive Circulatory Metabolomics in ME/CFS Reveals Disrupted Metabolism of Acyl Lipids and Steroids
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2020-01-14
    Arnaud Germain; Dinesh K. Barupal; Susan M. Levine; Maureen R. Hanson

    The latest worldwide prevalence rate projects that over 65 million patients suffer from myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), an illness with known effects on the functioning of the immune and nervous systems. We performed an extensive metabolomics analysis on the plasma of 52 female subjects, equally sampled between controls and ME/CFS patients, which delivered data for about 1750 blood compounds spanning 20 super-pathways, subdivided into 113 sub-pathways. Statistical analysis combined with pathway enrichment analysis points to a few disrupted metabolic pathways containing many unexplored compounds. The most intriguing finding concerns acyl cholines, belonging to the fatty acid metabolism sub-pathway of lipids, for which all compounds are consistently reduced in two distinct ME/CFS patient cohorts. We compiled the extremely limited knowledge about these compounds and regard them as promising in the quest to explain many of the ME/CFS symptoms. Another class of lipids with far-reaching activity on virtually all organ systems are steroids; androgenic, progestin, and corticosteroids are broadly reduced in our patient cohort. We also report on lower dipeptides and elevated sphingolipids abundance in patients compared to controls. Disturbances in the metabolism of many of these molecules can be linked to the profound organ system symptoms endured by ME/CFS patients.

  • Discovering Temporal Patterns in Longitudinal Nontargeted Metabolomics Data via Group and Nuclear Norm Regularized Multivariate Regression
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2020-01-13
    Zhaozhou Lin; Qiao Zhang; Shengyun Dai; Xiaoyan Gao

    Temporal associations in longitudinal nontargeted metabolomics data are generally ignored by common pattern recognition methods such as partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) and orthogonal partial least squares discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA). To discover temporal patterns in longitudinal metabolomics, a multitask learning (MTL) method employing structural regularization was proposed. The group regularization term of the proposed MTL method enables the selection of a small number of tentative biomarkers while maintaining high prediction accuracy. Meanwhile, the nuclear norm imposed into the regression coefficient accounts for the interrelationship of the metabolomics data obtained on consecutive time points. The effectiveness of the proposed method was demonstrated by comparison study performed on a metabolomics dataset and a simulating dataset. The results showed that a compact set of tentative biomarkers charactering the whole antipyretic process of Qingkailing injection were selected with the proposed method. In addition, the nuclear norm introduced in the new method could help the group norm to improve the method’s recovery ability.

  • Adipokines and Adipose Tissue-Related Metabolites, Nuts and Cardiovascular Disease
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2020-01-11
    Camila Weschenfelder; Alexandre Schaan de Quadros; Julia Lorenzon dos Santos; Silvia Bueno Garofallo; Aline Marcadenti

    Adipose tissue is a complex structure responsible for fat storage and releasing polypeptides (adipokines) and metabolites, with systemic actions including body weight balance, appetite regulation, glucose homeostasis, and blood pressure control. Signals sent from different tissues are generated and integrated in adipose tissue; thus, there is a close connection between this endocrine organ and different organs and systems such as the gut and the cardiovascular system. It is known that functional foods, especially different nuts, may be related to a net of molecular mechanisms contributing to cardiometabolic health. Despite being energy-dense foods, nut consumption has been associated with no weight gain, weight loss, and lower risk of becoming overweight or obese. Several studies have reported beneficial effects after nut consumption on glucose control, appetite suppression, metabolites related to adipose tissue and gut microbiota, and on adipokines due to their fatty acid profile, vegetable proteins, l-arginine, dietary fibers, vitamins, minerals, and phytosterols. The aim of this review is to briefly describe possible mechanisms implicated in weight homeostasis related to different nuts, as well as studies that have evaluated the effects of nut consumption on adipokines and metabolites related to adipose tissue and gut microbiota in animal models, healthy individuals, and primary and secondary cardiovascular prevention.

  • Testicular Caspase-3 and β-Catenin Regulators Predicted via Comparative Metabolomics and Docking Studies
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2020-01-11
    Mohammed S. Hifnawy; Mahmoud A. Aboseada; Hossam M. Hassan; Asmaa M. AboulMagd; Adel F. Tohamy; Samraa H. Abdel-Kawi; Mostafa E. Rateb; El Moataz Bellah El Naggar; Miaomiao Liu; Ronald J. Quinn; Hani A. Alhadrami; Usama Ramadan Abdelmohsen

    Many routes have been explored to search for effective, safe, and affordable alternatives to hazardous female contraceptives. Herbal extracts and their secondary metabolites are some of the interesting research areas to address this growing issue. This study aims to investigate the effects of ten different plant extracts on testicular spermatogenesis. The correlation between the chemical profile of these extracts and their in vivo effect on male reproductive system was evaluated using various techniques. Approximately 10% of LD50 of hydro-methanolic extracts were orally administrated to rats for 60 days. Semen parameters, sexual organ weights, and serum levels of male sex hormones in addition to testes histopathology, were evaluated. Moreover, metabolomic analysis using (LC-HRESIMS), multivariate analysis (PCA), immunohistochemistry (caspase-3 and β-catenin), and a docking study were performed. Results indicated that three plant extracts significantly decreased epididymal sperm density and motility. Moreover, their effects on testicular cells were also assured by histopathological evaluations. Metabolomic profiling of the bioactive plant extracts showed the presence of diverse phytochemicals, mostly oleanane saponins, phenolic diterpenes, and lupane triterpenes. A docking study on caspase-3 enzyme showed that oleanane saponins possessed the highest binding affinity. An immunohistochemistry assay on β-catenin and caspase-3 indicated that Albizzia lebbeck was the most active extract for decreasing immunoexpression of β-catenin, while Rosmarinus officinalis showed the highest activity for increasing immunoexpression of caspase-3. The spermatogenesis decreasing the activity of A. lebbeck, Anagallis arvensis, and R. officinalis can be mediated via up-regulation of caspase-3 and down-regulation of β-catenin existing in testis cells.

  • Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry Quantification of 13C-Labeling in Sugars
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2020-01-10
    Jean-Christophe Cocuron; Zacchary Ross; Ana P. Alonso

    Subcellular compartmentation has been challenging in plant 13C-metabolic flux analysis. Indeed, plant cells are highly compartmented: they contain vacuoles and plastids in addition to the regular organelles found in other eukaryotes. The distinction of reactions between compartments is possible when metabolites are synthesized in a particular compartment or by a unique pathway. Sucrose is an example of such a metabolite: it is specifically produced in the cytosol from glucose 6-phosphate (G6P) and fructose 6-phosphate (F6P). Therefore, determining the 13C-labeling in the fructosyl and glucosyl moieties of sucrose directly informs about the labeling of cytosolic F6P and G6P, respectively. To date, the most commonly used method to monitor sucrose labeling is by nuclear magnetic resonance, which requires substantial amounts of biological sample. This study describes a new methodology that accurately measures the labeling in free sugars using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). For this purpose, maize embryos were pulsed with [U-13C]-fructose, intracellular sugars were extracted, and their time-course labeling was analyzed by LC-MS/MS. Additionally, extracts were enzymatically treated with hexokinase to remove the soluble hexoses, and then invertase to cleave sucrose into fructose and glucose. Finally, the labeling in the glucosyl and fructosyl moieties of sucrose was determined by LC-MS/MS.

  • Biotransformation of Silymarin Flavonolignans by Human Fecal Microbiota
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2020-01-09
    Kateřina Valentová; Jaroslav Havlík; Pavel Kosina; Barbora Papoušková; José Diógenes Jaimes; Kristýna Káňová; Lucie Petrásková; Jitka Ulrichová; Vladimír Křen

    Flavonolignans occur typically in Silybum marianum (milk thistle) fruit extract, silymarin, which contains silybin, isosilybin, silychristin, silydianin, and their 2,3-dehydroderivatives, together with other minor flavonoids and a polymeric phenolic fraction. Biotransformation of individual silymarin components by human microbiota was studied ex vivo, using batch incubations inoculated by fecal slurry. Samples at selected time points were analyzed by ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography equipped with mass spectrometry. The initial experiment using a concentration of 200 mg/L showed that flavonolignans are resistant to the metabolic action of intestinal microbiota. At the lower concentration of 10 mg/L, biotransformation of flavonolignans was much slower than that of taxifolin, which was completely degraded after 16 h. While silybin, isosilybin, and 2,3-dehydrosilybin underwent mostly demethylation, silychristin was predominantly reduced. Silydianin, 2,3-dehydrosilychristin and 2,3-dehydrosilydianin were reduced, as well, and decarbonylation and cysteine conjugation proceeded. No low-molecular-weight phenolic metabolites were detected for any of the compounds tested. Strong inter-individual differences in the biotransformation profile were observed among the four fecal-material donors. In conclusion, the flavonolignans, especially at higher (pharmacological) doses, are relatively resistant to biotransformation by gut microbiota, which, however, depends strongly on the individual structures of these isomeric compounds, but also on the stool donor.

  • A Case Report of Switching from Specific Vendor-Based to R-Based Pipelines for Untargeted LC-MS Metabolomics
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2020-01-08
    Álvaro Fernández-Ochoa; Rosa Quirantes-Piné; Isabel Borrás-Linares; María de la Luz Cádiz-Gurrea; PRECISESADS Clinical Consortium; Marta E. Alarcón Riquelme; Carl Brunius; Antonio Segura-Carretero

    Data pre-processing of the LC-MS data is a critical step in untargeted metabolomics studies in order to achieve correct biological interpretations. Several tools have been developed for pre-processing, and these can be classified into either commercial or open source software. This case report aims to compare two specific methodologies, Agilent Profinder vs. R pipeline, for a metabolomic study with a large number of samples. Specifically, 369 plasma samples were analyzed by HPLC-ESI-QTOF-MS. The collected data were pre-processed by both methodologies and later evaluated by several parameters (number of peaks, degree of missingness, quality of the peaks, degree of misalignments, and robustness in multivariate models). The vendor software was characterized by ease of use, friendly interface and good quality of the graphs. The open source methodology could more effectively correct the drifts due to between and within batch effects. In addition, the evaluated statistical methods achieved better classification results with higher parsimony for the open source methodology, indicating higher data quality. Although both methodologies have strengths and weaknesses, the open source methodology seems to be more appropriate for studies with a large number of samples mainly due to its higher capacity and versatility that allows combining different packages, functions, and methods in a single environment.

  • Erratum: Ismail, I.T.; et al. Inborn Errors of Metabolism in the Era of Untargeted Metabolomics and Lipidomics. Metabolites 2019, 9, 242
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2020-01-06
    Israa T. Ismail; Megan R. Showalter; Oliver Fiehn

    Note: In lieu of an abstract, this is an excerpt from the first page. The authors wish to make the following correction to this paper [...]

  • Metabolomics Provide Sensitive Insights into the Impacts of Low Level Environmental Contamination on Fish Health—A Pilot Study
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2020-01-06
    Sara M. Long; Dedreia L. Tull; David P. De Souza; Konstantinos A. Kouremenos; Saravanan Dayalan; Malcolm J. McConville; Kathryn L. Hassell; Vincent J. Pettigrove; Marthe Monique Gagnon

    This exploratory study aims to investigate the health of sand flathead (Platycephalus bassensis) sampled from five sites in Port Phillip Bay, Australia using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) metabolomics approaches. Three of the sites were the recipients of industrial, agricultural, and urban run-off and were considered urban sites, while the remaining two sites were remote from contaminant inputs, and hence classed as rural sites. Morphological parameters as well as polar and free fatty acid metabolites were used to investigate inter-site differences in fish health. Significant differences in liver somatic index (LSI) and metabolite abundance were observed between the urban and rural sites. Differences included higher LSI, an increased abundance of amino acids and energy metabolites, and reduced abundance of free fatty acids at the urban sites compared to the rural sites. These differences might be related to the additional energy requirements needed to cope with low-level contaminant exposure through energy demanding processes such as detoxification and antioxidant responses as well as differences in diet between the sites. In this study, we demonstrate that metabolomics approaches can offer a greater level of sensitivity compared to traditional parameters such as physiological parameters or biochemical markers of fish health, most of which showed no or little inter-site differences in the present study. Moreover, the metabolite responses are more informative than traditional biomarkers in terms of biological significance as disturbances in specific metabolic pathways can be identified.

  • Phytohormone and Transcriptomic Analysis Reveals Endogenous Cytokinins Affect Kiwifruit Growth under Restricted Carbon Supply
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2020-01-04
    Simona Nardozza; Janine Cooney; Helen L. Boldingh; Katrin G. Hewitt; Tania Trower; Dan Jones; Amali H. Thrimawithana; Andrew C. Allan; Annette C. Richardson

    Following cell division, fruit growth is characterized by both expansion through increases in cell volume and biomass accumulation in cells. Fruit growth is limited by carbon starvation; however, the mechanism controlling fruit growth under restricted carbohydrate supply is poorly understood. In a previous study using red-fleshed kiwifruit, we showed that long-term carbon starvation had detrimental effects on carbohydrate, anthocyanin metabolism, and fruit growth. To elucidate the mechanisms underlying the reduction in fruit growth during kiwifruit development, we integrated phytohormone profiling with transcriptomic and developmental datasets for fruit under high or low carbohydrate supplies. Phytohormone profiling of the outer pericarp tissue of kiwifruit showed a 6-fold reduction in total cytokinin concentrations in carbon-starved fruit, whilst other hormones were less affected. Principal component analysis visualised that cytokinin composition was distinct between fruit at 16 weeks after mid bloom, based on their carbohydrate supply status. Cytokinin biosynthetic genes (IPT, CYP735A) were significantly downregulated under carbon starvation, in agreement with the metabolite data. Several genes that code for expansins, proteins involved in cell wall loosening, were also downregulated under carbon starvation. In contrast to other fleshy fruits, our results suggest that cytokinins not only promote cell division, but also drive fruit cell expansion and growth in kiwifruit.

  • Direct Implementation of Intestinal Permeability Test in NMR Metabolomics for Simultaneous Biomarker Discovery—A Feasibility Study in a Preterm Piglet Model
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2020-01-01
    Masoumeh Alinaghi; Duc Ninh Nguyen; Per Torp Sangild; Hanne Christine Bertram

    Measurement of intestinal permeability (IP) is often used in the examination of inflammatory gastrointestinal disorders. IP can be assessed by measurement of urinary recovery of ingested non-metabolizable lactulose (L) and mannitol (M). The present study aimed to examine how measurements of IP can be integrated in a NMR-based metabolomics approach for a simultaneous quantification of L/M ratio and biomarker exploration. For this purpose, plasma and urine samples were collected from five-day-old preterm piglets (n = 20) with gastrointestinal disorders (subjected to intra-amniotic lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 1 mg/fetus)) after they had been administrated a 5% lactulose and 5% mannitol solution (15 mL/kg). The collected plasma and urine samples were analyzed by 1H NMR-based metabolomics. Urine L/M ratio measured by 1H NMR spectroscopy showed high correlation with the standard measurement of the urinary recoveries by enzymatic assays (r = 0.93, p < 0.05). Partial least squares (PLS) regressions and correlation analyses between L/M ratio and NMR metabolomics data revealed that L/M ratio was positively correlated with plasma lactate, acetate and succinate levels and negatively correlated with urinary hippuric acid and glycine. In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that NMR metabolomics enables simultaneous IP testing and discovery of biomarkers associated with an impaired intestinal permeability.

  • Metabolite Profiling and Classification of Developing Styrax tonkinensis Kernels
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2020-01-01
    Qikui Wu; Xue Zhao; Chen Chen; Zihan Zhang; Fangyuan Yu

    Background: Styrax tonkinensis is an economic tree species with high timber, medicine, oil, and ornamental value. Its seed, containing a particularly high oil content, are widely studied for their biodiesel properties by nutritional components and oil body ultrastructure. However, their comprehensive biochemical compositions have not been studied. Methods: During S. tonkinensis kernel development, we collected samples from four time points for metabolite profiling and classification through gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Results: A total of 187 and 1556 metabolites were obtained, respectively. All of the metabolites were grouped into 19 and 21 classes by their chemical properties and into 8 clusters based on their change trends, respectively. Among all the metabolites, carboxylic acids and derivatives, flavonoids, fatty acyls, glycerophospholipids, organooxygen compounds, prenol lipids, and steroids and steroid derivatives were the main components. Alanine, glutamine, tryptophan, tyrosine and valine were the five most abundant amino acids. Palmitic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid and linoleic acid were the four major free fatty acids. Flavans, flavonoid glycosides and o-methylated flavonoids were the three major flavonoids. The differential metabolites distributions between different time points were identified. A pathway enrichment was performed, which was mainly focused on three groups, amino acids metabolism, carbon flow from sucrose to lipid and secondary metabolites biosynthesis. Conclusions: It’s the first time to analyze the metabolite fingerprinting for developing S. tonkinensis kernels and identify varied kinds of flavonoids. We performed metabolite profiling, classification and pathway enrichment to assess the comprehensive biochemical compositions. Our results described the change in major metabolites and main metabolic processes during S. tonkinensis kernel development and provided a variety of bases for seed applications as biofuel or medicine.

  • Dynamic Changes in Serum Metabolomic Profiles of Growing Pigs Induced by Intravenous Infusion of Sodium Butyrate
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2020-01-01
    Hongyu Wang; Erdu Ren; Xiaoe Xiang; Yong Su; Weiyun Zhu

    This study aimed to explore the dynamic changes in metabolite profiles and metabolism pathways in the serum of growing pigs by intravenous infusion of sodium butyrate (SB). Fourteen crossbred growing barrows (BW = 23.70 ± 1.29 kg) fitted with jugular cannula were randomly allocated to the SB and control (Con) groups, each group consisted of seven replicates (pens), with one pig per pen. At 9:00 of each day during the experimental period, pigs in the SB group were infused with 10 mL of SB (200 mmol/L, pH 7.4, 37 °C) via precaval vein, while the Con group was treated with the same volume of physiological saline. On day 4, the blood of each pig was collected at 0, 30, 60, and 120 min after the intravenous infusion. Metabolites in the serum were detected by gas chromatograph-mass spectrometry analysis. Pathway analysis of metabolomic profiles showed that the differential metabolites mainly enriched in amino acid metabolism, lipid-related metabolism, and the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. More importantly, the relative concentrations of all eight essential amino acids, five non-essential amino acids, and two amino acid derivatives were decreased by the parenteral SB. In addition, SB significantly increased the relative concentrations of eicosanoic acid and octadecanoic acid and decreased the relative concentration of glycerol-3-phosphate at 0 min (three days after intravenous infusion of SB), which suggests that parenteral SB may increase stearates mobilization and decrease the biosynthesis of stearates. In conclusion, intravenous infusion of SB may induce more amino acids to synthesize proteins and affect fat metabolism through increasing fat mobilization and decreasing the biosynthesis of stearates. However, a further study is needed to understand the mechanism of extensive metabolic pathway changes induced by parenteral SB.

  • In Vivo Mitochondrial Function in Idiopathic and Genetic Parkinson’s Disease
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-12-28
    Gabriele Dossi; Letizia Squarcina; Mario Rango

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is associated with brain mitochondrial dysfunction. High-energy phosphates (HEPs), which rely on mitochondrial functioning, may be considered potential biomarkers for PD. Phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy (31P-MRS) is a suitable tool to explore in vivo cerebral energetics. We considered 10 31P-MRS studies in order to highlight the main findings about brain energetic compounds in patients affected by idiopathic PD and genetic PD. The studies investigated several brain areas such as frontal lobes, occipital lobes, temporoparietal cortex, visual cortex, midbrain, and basal ganglia. Resting-state studies reported contrasting results showing decreased as well as normal or increased HEPs levels in PD patients. Functional studies revealed abnormal PCr + βATP levels in PD subjects during the recovery phase and abnormal values at rest, during activation and recovery in one PD subject with PINK1 gene mutation suggesting that mitochondrial machinery is more impaired in PD patients with PINK1 gene mutation. PD is characterized by energetics impairment both in idiopathic PD as well as in genetic PD, suggesting that mitochondrial dysfunction underlies the disease. Studies are still sparse and sometimes contrasting, maybe due to different methodological approaches. Further studies are needed to better assess the role of mitochondria in the PD development.

  • On the Inverse Correlation of Protein and Oil: Examining the Effects of Altered Central Carbon Metabolism on Seed Composition Using Soybean Fast Neutron Mutants
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-12-28
    Shrikaar Kambhampati; Jose A. Aznar-Moreno; Cooper Hostetler; Tara Caso; Sally R. Bailey; Allen H. Hubbard; Timothy P. Durrett; Doug K. Allen

    Protein and oil levels measured at maturity are inversely correlated across soybean lines; however, carbon is in limited supply during maturation resulting in tradeoffs for the production of other reserves including oligosaccharides. During the late stages of seed development, the allocation of carbon for storage reserves changes. Lipid and protein levels decline while concentrations of indigestible raffinose family oligosaccharides (RFOs) increase, leading to a decreased crop value. Since the maternal source of carbon is diminished during seed maturation stages of development, carbon supplied to RFO synthesis likely comes from an internal, turned-over source and may contribute to the reduction in protein and lipid content in mature seeds. In this study, fast neutron (FN) mutagenized soybean populations with deletions in central carbon metabolic genes were examined for trends in oil, protein, sugar, and RFO accumulation leading to an altered final composition. Two lines with concurrent increases in oil and protein, by combined 10%, were identified. A delayed switch in carbon allocation towards RFO biosynthesis resulted in extended lipid accumulation and without compromising protein. Strategies for future soybean improvement using FN resources are described.

  • Green and White Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis): A Source of Developmental, Chemical and Urinary Intrigue
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-12-25
    Eirini Pegiou; Roland Mumm; Parag Acharya; Ric C. H. de Vos; Robert D. Hall

    Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) is one of the world’s top 20 vegetable crops. Both green and white shoots (spears) are produced; the latter being harvested before becoming exposed to light. The crop is grown in nearly all areas of the world, with the largest production regions being China, Western Europe, North America and Peru. Successful production demands high farmer input and specific environmental conditions and cultivation practices. Asparagus materials have also been used for centuries as herbal medicine. Despite this widespread cultivation and consumption, we still know relatively little about the biochemistry of this crop and how this relates to the nutritional, flavour, and neutra-pharmaceutical properties of the materials used. To date, no-one has directly compared the contrasting compositions of the green and white crops. In this short review, we have summarised most of the literature to illustrate the chemical richness of the crop and how this might relate to key quality parameters. Asparagus has excellent nutritional properties and its flavour/fragrance is attributed to a set of volatile components including pyrazines and sulphur-containing compounds. More detailed research, however, is needed and we propose that (untargeted) metabolomics should have a more prominent role to play in these investigations.

  • Genome-Scale Metabolic Modeling with Protein Expressions of Normal and Cancerous Colorectal Tissues for Oncogene Inference
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-12-25
    Feng-Sheng Wang; Wu-Hsiung Wu; Wei-Shiang Hsiu; Yan-Jun Liu; Kuan-Wei Chuang

    Although cancer has historically been regarded as a cell proliferation disorder, it has recently been considered a metabolic disease. The first discovery of metabolic alterations in cancer cells refers to Otto Warburg’s observations. Cancer metabolism results in alterations in metabolic fluxes that are evident in cancer cells compared with most normal tissue cells. This study applied protein expressions of normal and cancer cells to reconstruct two tissue-specific genome-scale metabolic models. Both models were employed in a tri-level optimization framework to infer oncogenes. Moreover, this study also introduced enzyme pseudo-coding numbers in the gene association expression to avoid performing posterior decision-making that is necessary for the reaction-based method. Colorectal cancer (CRC) was the topic of this case study, and 20 top-ranked oncogenes were determined. Notably, these dysregulated genes were involved in various metabolic subsystems and compartments. We found that the average similarity ratio for each dysregulation is higher than 98%, and the extent of similarity for flux changes is higher than 93%. On the basis of surveys of PubMed and GeneCards, these oncogenes were also investigated in various carcinomas and diseases. Most dysregulated genes connect to catalase that acts as a hub and connects protein signaling pathways, such as those involving TP53, mTOR, AKT1, MAPK1, EGFR, MYC, CDK8, and RAS family.

  • The Antimethanogenic Nitrocompounds Can be Cleaved into Nitrite by Rumen Microorganisms: A Comparison of Nitroethane, 2-Nitroethanol, and 2-Nitro-1-propanol
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-12-25
    Zhen-Wei Zhang; Yan-Lu Wang; Wei-Kang Wang; Yong-Yang Chen; Xue-Meng Si; Ya-Jing Wang; Wei Wang; Zhi-Jun Cao; Sheng-Li Li; Hong-Jian Yang

    A class of aliphatic short chain nitrocompounds have been reported as being capable of CH4 reduction both in vitro and in vivo. However, the laboratory evidence associated with the metabolic fate of nitrocompounds in the rumen has not been well documented. The present study was conducted to compare in vitro degradation and metabolism of nitroethane (NE), 2-nitroethanol (NEOH), and 2-nitro-1-propanol (NPOH) incubated with mixed rumen microorganisms of dairy cows. After 10 mM supplementation of nitrocompounds, a serious of batch cultures were carried out for 120 h under the presence of two substrates differing in the ratio of maize meal to alfalfa hay (HF, 1:4; LF, 4:1). Compared to the control, methane production was reduced by 59% in NPOH and by >97% in both NE and NEOH, and such antimethanogenic effects were more pronounced in the LF than the HF group. Although NE, NEOH, and NPOH addition did not alter total VFA production, the rumen fermentation pattern shifted toward increasing propionate and butyrate and decreasing acetate production. The kinetic disappearance of each nitrocompound was well fitted to the one-compartment model, and the disappearance rate (k, %/h) of NE was 2.6 to 5.2 times greater than those of NEOH and NPOH. Higher intermediates of nitrite occurred in NEOH in comparison with NPOH and NE while ammonia N production was lowest in NEOH. Consequently, a stepwise accumulation of bacterial crude protein (BCP) in response to the nitrocompound addition was observed in both the HF and LF group. In brief, both NE and NEOH in comparison with NPOH presented greater antimethanogenic activity via the shift of rumen fermentation. In addition, the present study provided the first direct evidence that rumen microbes were able to cleave these nitrocompounds into nitrite, and the subsequent metabolism of nitrite into ammonia N may enhance the growth of rumen microbes or promote microbial activities.

  • 13C-Metabolic Flux Analysis in Developing Flax (Linum usitatissinum L.) Embryos to Understand Storage Lipid Biosynthesis
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-12-24
    Sébastien Acket; Anthony Degournay; Yannick Rossez; Stéphane Mottelet; Pierre Villon; Adrian Troncoso-Ponce; Brigitte Thomasset

    Flax (Linum usitatissinum L.) oil is an important source of α-linolenic (C18:3 ω-3). This polyunsaturated fatty acid is well known for its nutritional role in human and animal diets. Understanding storage lipid biosynthesis in developing flax embryos can lead to an increase in seed yield via marker-assisted selection. While a tremendous amount of work has been done on different plant species to highlight their metabolism during embryo development, a comprehensive analysis of metabolic flux in flax is still lacking. In this context, we have utilized in vitro cultured developing embryos of flax and determined net fluxes by performing three complementary parallel labeling experiments with 13C-labeled glucose and glutamine. Metabolic fluxes were estimated by computer-aided modeling of the central metabolic network including 11 cofactors of 118 reactions of the central metabolism and 12 pseudo-fluxes. A focus on lipid storage biosynthesis and the associated pathways was done in comparison with rapeseed, arabidopsis, maize and sunflower embryos. In our hands, glucose was determined to be the main source of carbon in flax embryos, leading to the conversion of phosphoenolpyruvate to pyruvate. The oxidative pentose phosphate pathway (OPPP) was identified as the producer of NADPH for fatty acid biosynthesis. Overall, the use of 13C-metabolic flux analysis provided new insights into the flax embryo metabolic processes involved in storage lipid biosynthesis. The elucidation of the metabolic network of this important crop plant reinforces the relevance of the application of this technique to the analysis of complex plant metabolic systems.

  • Generation of a Collision Cross Section Library for Multi-Dimensional Plant Metabolomics Using UHPLC-Trapped Ion Mobility-MS/MS
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-12-24
    Mark Schroeder; Sven W. Meyer; Heino M. Heyman; Aiko Barsch; Lloyd W. Sumner

    The utility of metabolomics is well documented; however, its full scientific promise has not yet been realized due to multiple technical challenges. These grand challenges include accurate chemical identification of all observable metabolites and the limiting depth-of-coverage of current metabolomics methods. Here, we report a combinatorial solution to aid in both grand challenges using UHPLC-trapped ion mobility spectrometry coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-TIMS-TOF-MS). TIMS offers additional depth-of-coverage through increased peak capacities realized with the multi-dimensional UHPLC-TIMS separations. Metabolite identification confidence is simultaneously enhanced by incorporating orthogonal collision cross section (CCS) data matching. To facilitate metabolite identifications, we created a CCS library of 146 plant natural products. This library was generated using TIMS with N2 drift gas to record the TIMSCCSN2 of plant natural products with a high degree of reproducibility; i.e., average RSD = 0.10%. The robustness of TIMSCCSN2 data matching was tested using authentic standards spiked into complex plant extracts, and the precision of CCS measurements were determined to be independent of matrix affects. The utility of the UHPLC-TIMS-TOF-MS/MS in metabolomics was then demonstrated using extracts from the model legume Medicago truncatula and metabolites were confidently identified based on retention time, accurate mass, molecular formula, and CCS.

  • Integrated Metabolomics and Transcriptomics Suggest the Global Metabolic Response to 2-Aminoacrylate Stress in Salmonella enterica
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-12-24
    Andrew J. Borchert; Jacquelyn M. Walejko; Adrien Le Guennec; Dustin C. Ernst; Arthur S. Edison; Diana M. Downs

    In Salmonella enterica, 2-aminoacrylate (2AA) is a reactive enamine intermediate generated during a number of biochemical reactions. When the 2-iminobutanoate/2-iminopropanoate deaminase (RidA; EC: is eliminated, 2AA accumulates and inhibits the activity of multiple pyridoxal 5’-phosphate(PLP)-dependent enzymes. In this study, untargeted proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) metabolomics and transcriptomics data were used to uncover the global metabolic response of S. enterica to the accumulation of 2AA. The data showed that elimination of RidA perturbed folate and branched chain amino acid metabolism. Many of the resulting perturbations were consistent with the known effect of 2AA stress, while other results suggested additional potential enzyme targets of 2AA-dependent damage. The majority of transcriptional and metabolic changes appeared to be the consequence of downstream effects on the metabolic network, since they were not directly attributable to a PLP-dependent enzyme. In total, the results highlighted the complexity of changes stemming from multiple perturbations of the metabolic network, and suggested hypotheses that will be valuable in future studies of the RidA paradigm of endogenous 2AA stress.

  • Effect of Gender, Rearing, and Cooking on the Metabolomic Profile of Porcine Muscles
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-12-22
    Shoko Sawano; Keishi Oza; Tetsuya Murakami; Mako Nakamura; Ryuichi Tatsumi; Wataru Mizunoya

    To clarify the relationship between the fiber type composition and meat quality, we performed metabolomic analysis using porcine longissimus dorsi (LD) muscles. In the LD of pigs raised outdoors, the expression of myosin heavy chain (MyHC)1 (slow-twitch fiber marker protein) was significantly increased compared with that of MyHC1 in pigs raised in an indoor pen, suggesting that rearing outdoors could be considered as an exercise treatment. These LD samples were subjected to metabolomic analysis for examining the profile of most primary and secondary metabolites. We found that the sex of the animal and exercise stimulation had a strong influence on the metabolomic profile in the porcine skeletal muscles, and this difference in the metabolomic profile is likely in part due to the changes in the muscle fiber type. We also examined the effects of cooking (70 °C for 1 h). The effect of exercise on the metabolomic profile was also maintained in the cooked muscle tissues. Cooking treatment resulted in an increase in some of the metabolite levels while decreasing in some other metabolite levels. Thus, our study could indicate the effect of the sex of the animal, exercise stimulus, and cooking on the metabolomic profile of pork meat.

  • A Perspective and Framework for Developing Sample Type Specific Databases for LC/MS-Based Clinical Metabolomics
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-12-21
    Nichole A. Reisdorph; Scott Walmsley; Rick Reisdorph

    Metabolomics has the potential to greatly impact biomedical research in areas such as biomarker discovery and understanding molecular mechanisms of disease. However, compound identification (ID) remains a major challenge in liquid chromatography mass spectrometry-based metabolomics. This is partly due to a lack of specificity in metabolomics databases. Though impressive in depth and breadth, the sheer magnitude of currently available databases is in part what makes them ineffective for many metabolomics studies. While still in pilot phases, our experience suggests that custom-built databases, developed using empirical data from specific sample types, can significantly improve confidence in IDs. While the concept of sample type specific databases (STSDBs) and spectral libraries is not entirely new, inclusion of unique descriptors such as detection frequency and quality scores, can be used to increase confidence in results. These features can be used alone to judge the quality of a database entry, or together to provide filtering capabilities. STSDBs rely on and build upon several available tools for compound ID and are therefore compatible with current compound ID strategies. Overall, STSDBs can potentially result in a new paradigm for translational metabolomics, whereby investigators confidently know the identity of compounds following a simple, single STSDB search.

  • Proton NMR Enables the Absolute Quantification of Aqueous Metabolites and Lipid Classes in Unique Mouse Liver Samples
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-12-21
    Aurélien Amiel; Marie Tremblay-Franco; Roselyne Gautier; Simon Ducheix; Alexandra Montagner; Arnaud Polizzi; Laurent Debrauwer; Hervé Guillou; Justine Bertrand-Michel; Cécile Canlet

    Hepatic metabolites provide valuable information on the physiological state of an organism, and thus, they are monitored in many clinical situations. Typically, monitoring requires several analyses for each class of targeted metabolite, which is time consuming. The present study aimed to evaluate a proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR) method for obtaining quantitative measurements of aqueous and lipidic metabolites. We optimized the extraction protocol, the standard samples, and the organic solvents for the absolute quantification of lipid species. To validate the method, we analyzed metabolic profiles in livers of mice fed three different diets. We compared our results with values obtained with conventional methods and found strong correlations. The 1H-NMR protocol enabled the absolute quantification of 29 aqueous metabolites and eight lipid classes. Results showed that mice fed a diet enriched in saturated fatty acids had higher levels of triglycerides, cholesterol ester, monounsaturated fatty acids, lactate, 3-hydroxy-butyrate, and alanine and lower levels of glucose, compared to mice fed a control diet. In conclusion, proton NMR provided a rapid overview of the main lipid classes (triglycerides, cholesterol, phospholipids, fatty acids) and the most abundant aqueous metabolites in liver.

  • Identification of Bioactive Phytochemicals in Mulberries
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-12-20
    Gilda D’Urso; Jurriaan J. Mes; Paola Montoro; Robert D. Hall; Ric C.H. de Vos

    Mulberries are consumed either freshly or as processed fruits and are traditionally used to tackle several diseases, especially type II diabetes. Here, we investigated the metabolite compositions of ripe fruits of both white (Morus alba) and black (Morus nigra) mulberries, using reversed-phase HPLC coupled to high resolution mass spectrometry (LC-MS), and related these to their in vitro antioxidant and α-glucosidase inhibitory activities. Based on accurate masses, fragmentation data, UV/Vis light absorbance spectra and retention times, 35 metabolites, mainly comprising phenolic compounds and amino sugar acids, were identified. While the antioxidant activity was highest in M. nigra, the α-glucosidase inhibitory activities were similar between species. Both bioactivities were mostly resistant to in vitro gastrointestinal digestion. To identify the bioactive compounds, we combined LC-MS with 96-well-format fractionation followed by testing the individual fractions for α-glucosidase inhibition, while compounds responsible for the antioxidant activity were identified using HPLC with an online antioxidant detection system. We thus determined iminosugars and phenolic compounds in both M. alba and M. nigra, and anthocyanins in M. nigra as being the key α-glucosidase inhibitors, while anthocyanins in M. nigra and both phenylpropanoids and flavonols in M. alba were identified as key antioxidants in their ripe berries.

  • Possible Use of Blood Tryptophan Metabolites as Biomarkers for Coronary Heart Disease in Sudden Unexpected Death
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-12-19
    Kobchai Santisukwongchote; Yutti Amornlertwatana; Thanapat Sastraruji; Churdsak Jaikang

    Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the major cause of death in sudden unexpected death (SUD) cases. Tryptophan (TRP) and its metabolites are correlated with the CHD patient but less studies in the SUD. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship of TRP and its metabolites with the CHD in the SUD cases. Blood samples and heart tissues were collected from CHD subjects (n = 31) and the control group (n = 72). Levels of kynurenine (KYN), kynurenic acid (KYA), xanthurenic acid (XAN), 3-hydroxyanthranillic acid (HAA), quinolinic acid (QA), picolinic acid (PA) and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (HIAA) were determined by HPLC-DAD. A severity of heart occlusion was categorized into four groups, and the relationship was measured with the TRP metabolites. The HIAA and The KYN levels significantly differed (p < 0.01) between the CHD group and the control group. Lower levels of QA/XAN, PA/KA, HAA/XAN, KYN/XAN and KYN/TRP were found in the CHD group. However, PA/HAA, PA/HIAA, PA/KYN and XAN/KA values in the CHD group were higher than the control group (p < 0.05). This study revealed that the values of PA/KA and PA/HAA provided better choices for a CHD biomarker in postmortem bodies.

  • The Effect of Training on Erythrocyte Energy Status and Plasma Purine Metabolites in Athletes
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-12-19
    Barbara Pospieszna; Krzysztof Kusy; Ewa Maria Słomińska; Wioleta Dudzinska; Monika Ciekot-Sołtysiak; Jacek Zieliński

    This study aimed to assess the changes in red blood cell (RBC) energy status and plasma purine metabolites concentration over a one-year training cycle in endurance-trained (EN; n = 11, 20‒26 years), and sprint-trained (SP; n = 11, 20–30 years) competitive athletes in comparison to recreationally-trained individuals (RE; n = 11, 20‒26 years). Somatic, physiological, and biochemical variables were measured in four training phases differing in exercise load profile: transition, general, specific, and competition. Significantly highest values of RBC adenylate energy charge (AEC; p ≤ 0.001), ATP-to-ADP and ADP-to-AMP ratios (p ≤ 0.05), and plasma levels of adenosine (Ado; p ≤ 0.05) were noted in the competition phase in the EN and SP, but not in the RE group. Significantly lowest plasma levels of adenosine diphosphate (ADP; p ≤ 0.05), adenosine monophosphate (AMP; p ≤ 0.001), inosine (Ino; p ≤ 0.001), and hypoxanthine (Hx; p ≤ 0.001) accompanied by higher erythrocyte hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HGPRT) activity (p ≤ 0.001), were observed in the competition phase in both athletic groups. No significant alterations were found in the erythrocyte concentration of guanine nucleotides in any group. In conclusion, periodized training of competitive athletes’ results in a favorable adaptation of RBC metabolism. The observed changes cover improved RBC energy status (increased AEC and ATP/ADP ratio) and reduced purine loss with more efficient erythrocyte purine pool recovery (increased HGPRT activity and plasma levels of Ado; decreased Hx and Ino concentration).

  • Metabolites, Vol. 10, Pages 4: Electromembrane Extraction of Highly Polar Compounds: Analysis of Cardiovascular Biomarkers in Plasma
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-12-18
    Drouin; Kloots; Schappler; Rudaz; Kohler; Harms; Lindenburg; Hankemeier

    Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) represent a major concern in today’s society, with more than 17.5 million deaths reported annually worldwide. Recently, five metabolites related to the gut metabolism of phospholipids were identified as promising predictive biomarker candidates for CVD. Validation of those biomarker candidates is crucial for applications to the clinic, showing the need for high-throughput analysis of large numbers of samples. These five compounds, trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), choline, betaine, l-carnitine, and deoxy-l-carnitine (4-trimethylammoniobutanoic acid), are highly polar compounds and show poor retention on conventional reversed phase chromatography, which can lead to strong matrix effects when using mass spectrometry detection, especially when high-throughput analysis approaches are used with limited separation of analytes from interferences. In order to reduce the potential matrix effects, we propose a novel fast parallel electromembrane extraction (Pa-EME) method for the analysis of these metabolites in plasma samples. The evaluation of Pa-EME parameters was performed using multi segment injection–capillary electrophoresis–mass spectrometry (MSI-CE-MS). Recoveries up to 100% were achieved, with variability as low as 2%. Overall, this study highlights the necessity of protein precipitation prior to EME for the extraction of highly polar compounds. The developed Pa-EME method was evaluated in terms of concentration range and response function, as well as matrix effects using fast-LC-MS/MS. Finally, the developed workflow was compared to conventional sample pre-treatment, i.e., protein precipitation using methanol, and fast-LC-MS/MS. Data show very strong correlations between both workflows, highlighting the great potential of Pa-EME for high-throughput biological applications.

  • Metabolites, Vol. 10, Pages 3: Glutathione Injection Alleviates the Fluctuation of Metabolic Response under Thermal Stress in Olive Flounder, Paralichthys olivaceus
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-12-18
    Kim; Kim; Ma; Lee; Lee; Yoon; Kim; Kim

    Continuous increases in water temperature disturb homeostasis and increase oxidative stress in fish. Glutathione (GSH) is an intracellular antioxidant that helps to relieve stress in animals. In this study, we observed the effect of GSH on olive flounder exposed to high temperature using serum parameters and NMR-based metabolomics. Based on the results from the first experiment, 20 mg of GSH was chosen as an effective dose with lower infection rates and mortality. Then, fish were divided into Control, Temp (PS injection), and GSH (glutathione injection) groups, and fish in Temp and GSH groups were exposed to temperature fluctuations (20 °C→24 °C→27 °C). In OPLS-DA score plots, Temp group was clearly distinguished from the other groups in the kidney. In the liver, the metabolic patterns of GSH group were close to the Temp group on day 4 and became similar to Control group from day 7. Serum parameters did not change significantly, but the deviation in Temp group was greater than that in GSH group. Metabolite levels that were significantly altered included GSH, lactate, O-phosphocholine, and betaine in the kidney and taurine, glucose, and several amino acids in the liver, which were related to antioxidant activity and energy system. Therefore, GSH supplements could relieve thermal stress influencing metabolic mechanisms in fish.

  • Metabolites, Vol. 10, Pages 2: Modified Protocol of Harvesting, Extraction, and Normalization Approaches for Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry-Based Metabolomics Analysis of Adherent Cells Grown Under High Fetal Calf Serum Conditions
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-12-18
    Raphaela Fritsche-Guenther; Anna Bauer; Yoann Gloaguen; Mario Lorenz; Jennifer A. Kirwan

    A gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) metabolomics protocol was modified for quenching, harvesting, and extraction of metabolites from adherent cells grown under high (20%) fetal calf serum conditions. The reproducibility of using either 50% or 80% methanol for quenching of cells was compared for sample harvest. To investigate the efficiency and reproducibility of intracellular metabolite extraction, different volumes and ratios of chloroform were tested. Additionally, we compared the use of total protein amount versus cell mass as normalization parameters. We demonstrate that the method involving 50% methanol as quenching buffer followed by an extraction step using an equal ratio of methanol:chloroform:water (1:1:1, v/v/v) followed by the collection of 6 mL polar phase for GC-MS measurement was superior to the other methods tested. Especially for large sample sets, its comparative ease of measurement leads us to recommend normalization to protein amount for the investigation of intracellular metabolites of adherent human cells grown under high (or standard) fetal calf serum conditions. To avoid bias, care should be taken beforehand to ensure that the ratio of total protein to cell number are consistent among the groups tested. For this reason, it may not be suitable where culture conditions or cell types have very different protein outputs (e.g., hypoxia vs. normoxia). The full modified protocol is available in the Supplementary Materials.

  • Metabolites, Vol. 10, Pages 1: Metatranscriptomic Analysis of the Mouse Gut Microbiome Response to the Persistent Organic Pollutant 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzofuran
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-12-18
    Robert G. Nichols; Jingtao Zhang; Jingwei Cai; Iain A. Murray; Imhoi Koo; Philip B. Smith; Gary H. Perdew; Andrew D. Patterson

    Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are important environmental chemicals and continued study of their mechanism of action remains a high priority. POPs, such as 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzofuran (TCDF), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), are widespread environmental contaminants that are agonists for the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR). Activation of the AHR modulates the gut microbiome community structure and function, host immunity, and the host metabolome. In the current study, male C57BL6/J mice were exposed, via the diet, to 5 µg/kg body weight (BW) TCDF or 24 µg/kg BW of TCDF every day for 5 days. The functional and structural changes imparted by TCDF exposure to the gut microbiome and host metabolome were explored via 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing, metabolomics, and bacterial metatranscriptomics. Significant changes included increases in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) biosynthesis gene expression after exposure to 24 µg/kg BW of TCDF. Increases in LPS biosynthesis were confirmed with metabolomics and LPS assays using serum obtained from TCDF-treated mice. Significant increases in gene expression within aspartate and glutamate metabolism were noted after exposure to 24 µg/kg BW of TCDF. Together, these results suggest that after exposure to 24 µg/kg BW of TCDF, the gut microbiome increases the production of LPS and glutamate to promote localized gut inflammation, potentially using glutamate as a stress response.

  • Metabolites, Vol. 9, Pages 308: From Samples to Insights into Metabolism: Uncovering Biologically Relevant Information in LC-HRMS Metabolomics Data
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-12-17
    Ivanisevic; Want

    Untargeted metabolomics (including lipidomics) is a holistic approach to biomarker discovery and mechanistic insights into disease onset and progression, and response to intervention. Each step of the analytical and statistical pipeline is crucial for the generation of high-quality, robust data. Metabolite identification remains the bottleneck in these studies; therefore, confidence in the data produced is paramount in order to maximize the biological output. Here, we outline the key steps of the metabolomics workflow and provide details on important parameters and considerations. Studies should be designed carefully to ensure appropriate statistical power and adequate controls. Subsequent sample handling and preparation should avoid the introduction of bias, which can significantly affect downstream data interpretation. It is not possible to cover the entire metabolome with a single platform; therefore, the analytical platform should reflect the biological sample under investigation and the question(s) under consideration. The large, complex datasets produced need to be pre-processed in order to extract meaningful information. Finally, the most time-consuming steps are metabolite identification, as well as metabolic pathway and network analysis. Here we discuss some widely used tools and the pitfalls of each step of the workflow, with the ultimate aim of guiding the reader towards the most efficient pipeline for their metabolomics studies.

  • Metabolites, Vol. 9, Pages 307: Soluble Sugar and Lipid Readjustments in the Yarrowia lipolytica Yeast at Various Temperatures and pH
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-12-17
    Varvara Yu Sekova; Daria I. Dergacheva; Elena P. Isakova; Natalya N. Gessler; Vera M. Tereshina; Yulia I. Deryabina

    Microorganisms cope with a wide range of environmental challenges using different mechanisms. Their ability to prosper at extreme ambient pH and high temperatures has been well reported, but the adaptation mechanism often remains unrevealed. In this study, we addressed the dynamics of lipid and sugar profiles upon different cultivation conditions. The results showed that the cells grown at various pH and optimal temperature contained mannitol as the major cytosol sugar alcohol. The elevated temperature of 38 °C led to a two- to three-fold increase in total cytosol sugars with concurrent substitution of mannitol for trehalose. Lipid composition in the cells at optimal temperature changed insignificantly at any pH tested. The increase in the temperature caused some drop in the storage and membrane lipid levels, remarkable changes in their composition, and the degree of unsaturated fatty acids. It was shown that the fatty acid composition of some membrane phospholipids varied considerably at changing pH and temperature values. The data showed a pivotal role and flexibility of the sugar and lipid composition of Y. lipolytica W29 in adaptation to unfavorable environmental conditions.

  • Metabolites, Vol. 9, Pages 306: Barth Syndrome: Exploring Cardiac Metabolism with Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-12-17
    Erica M. Fatica; Gina A. DeLeonibus; Alisha House; Jillian V. Kodger; Ryan W. Pearce; Rohan R. Shah; Liraz Levi; Yana Sandlers

    Barth syndrome (BTHS) is an X-linked recessive multisystem disorder caused by mutations in the TAZ gene (TAZ, G 4.5, OMIM 300394) that encodes for the acyltransferase tafazzin. This protein is highly expressed in the heart and plays a significant role in cardiolipin biosynthesis. Heart disease is the major clinical manifestation of BTHS with a high incidence in early life. Although the genetic basis of BTHS and tetralinoleoyl cardiolipin deficiency in BTHS-affected individuals are well-established, downstream metabolic changes in cardiac metabolism are still uncovered. Our study aimed to characterize TAZ-induced metabolic perturbations in the heart. Control (PGP1-TAZWT) and TAZ mutant (PGP1-TAZ517delG) iPS-CM were incubated with 13C6-glucose and 13C5-glutamine and incorporation of 13C into downstream Krebs cycle intermediates was traced. Our data reveal that TAZ517delG induces accumulation of cellular long chain acylcarnitines and overexpression of fatty acid binding protein (FABP4). We also demonstrate that TAZ517delG induces metabolic alterations in pathways related to energy production as reflected by high glucose uptake, an increase in glycolytic lactate production and a decrease in palmitate uptake. Moreover, despite mitochondrial dysfunction, in the absence of glucose and fatty acids, TAZ517delG-iPS-CM can use glutamine as a carbon source to replenish the Krebs cycle.

  • Metabolites, Vol. 9, Pages 305: Impact of Bovine Diet on Metabolomic Profile of Skim Milk and Whey Protein Ingredients
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-12-17
    Jonathan B. Magan; Tom F. O’Callaghan; Jiamin Zheng; Lun Zhang; Rupasri Mandal; Deirdre Hennessy; Mark A. Fenelon; David S. Wishart; Alan L. Kelly; Noel A. McCarthy

    The influence of bovine diet on the metabolome of reconstituted skim milk powder (SMP) and protein ingredients produced from the milk of cows fed on pasture or concentrate-based diets was investigated. Cows were randomly assigned to diets consisting of perennial ryegrass only (GRS), perennial ryegrass/white clover sward (CLV), or indoor total mixed ration (TMR) for an entire lactation. Raw milk obtained from each group was processed at pilot scale, to produce SMP and sweet whey, and SMP was further processed at laboratory scale, to yield ideal whey and acid whey. The total amino acid composition and metabolome of each sample were analyzed, using high-performance cation exchange and a targeted combination of direct-injection mass spectrometry and reverse-phase liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS), respectively. The nitrogen composition of the products from each of the diets was similar, with one exception being the significantly higher nonprotein nitrogen content in TMR-derived skim milk powder than that from the GRS system. Total amino acid analysis showed significantly higher concentrations of glycine in GRS- and CLV-derived sweet whey and acid whey than in those from TMR. The cysteine contents of CLV-derived ideal whey and acid whey were significantly higher than for TMR, while the valine content of GRS-derived acid whey was significantly higher than TMR. The phenylalanine content of GRS-derived ideal whey was significantly higher than that from CLV. Metabolomic analysis showed significantly higher concentrations of the metabolites glutamine, valine, and phosphocreatine in each ingredient type derived from TMR than those from GRS or CLV, while the serine content of each GRS-derived ingredient type was significantly higher than that in TMR-derived ingredients. These results demonstrate that the type of bovine feeding system used can have a significant effect on the amino acid composition and metabolome of skim milk and whey powders and may aid in the selection of raw materials for product manufacture, while the clear separation between the samples gives further evidence for distinguishing milk products produced from different feeding systems based on LC–MS/MS.

  • Metabolites, Vol. 9, Pages 304: Single Spheroid Metabolomics: Optimizing Sample Preparation of Three-Dimensional Multicellular Tumor Spheroids
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-12-14
    Mate Rusz; Evelyn Rampler; Bernhard K. Keppler; Michael A. Jakupec; Gunda Koellensperger

    Tumor spheroids are important model systems due to the capability of capturing in vivo tumor complexity. In this work, the experimental design of metabolomics workflows using three-dimensional multicellular tumor spheroid (3D MTS) models is addressed. Non-scaffold based cultures of the HCT116 colon carcinoma cell line delivered highly reproducible MTSs with regard to size and other key parameters (such as protein content and fraction of viable cells) as a prerequisite. Carefully optimizing the multiple steps of sample preparation, the developed procedure enabled us to probe the metabolome of single MTSs (diameter range 790 ± 22 µm) in a highly repeatable manner at a considerable throughput. The final protocol consisted of rapid washing of the spheroids on the cultivation plate, followed by cold methanol extraction. 13C enriched internal standards, added upon extraction, were key to obtaining the excellent analytical figures of merit. Targeted metabolomics provided absolute concentrations with average biological repeatabilities of <20% probing MTSs individually. In a proof of principle study, MTSs were exposed to two metal-based anticancer drugs, oxaliplatin and the investigational anticancer drug KP1339 (sodium trans-[tetrachloridobis(1H-indazole)ruthenate(III)]), which exhibit distinctly different modes of action. This difference could be recapitulated in individual metabolic shifts observed from replicate single MTSs. Therefore, biological variation among single spheroids can be assessed using the presented analytical strategy, applicable for in-depth anticancer drug metabolite profiling.

  • Metabolites, Vol. 9, Pages 303: Metabolomics: A Way Forward for Crop Improvement
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-12-14
    Ali Razzaq; Bushra Sadia; Ali Raza; Muhammad Khalid Hameed; Fozia Saleem

    Metabolomics is an emerging branch of “omics” and it involves identification and quantification of metabolites and chemical footprints of cellular regulatory processes in different biological species. The metabolome is the total metabolite pool in an organism, which can be measured to characterize genetic or environmental variations. Metabolomics plays a significant role in exploring environment–gene interactions, mutant characterization, phenotyping, identification of biomarkers, and drug discovery. Metabolomics is a promising approach to decipher various metabolic networks that are linked with biotic and abiotic stress tolerance in plants. In this context, metabolomics-assisted breeding enables efficient screening for yield and stress tolerance of crops at the metabolic level. Advanced metabolomics analytical tools, like non-destructive nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), liquid chromatography mass-spectroscopy (LC-MS), gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and direct flow injection (DFI) mass spectrometry, have sped up metabolic profiling. Presently, integrating metabolomics with post-genomics tools has enabled efficient dissection of genetic and phenotypic association in crop plants. This review provides insight into the state-of-the-art plant metabolomics tools for crop improvement. Here, we describe the workflow of plant metabolomics research focusing on the elucidation of biotic and abiotic stress tolerance mechanisms in plants. Furthermore, the potential of metabolomics-assisted breeding for crop improvement and its future applications in speed breeding are also discussed. Mention has also been made of possible bottlenecks and future prospects of plant metabolomics.

  • Metabolites, Vol. 9, Pages 302: Blood Metabolites Associate with Prognosis in Endometrial Cancer
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-12-14
    Elin Strand; Ingvild L. Tangen; Kristine E. Fasmer; Havjin Jacob; Mari K. Halle; Erling A. Hoivik; Bert Delvoux; Jone Trovik; Ingfrid S. Haldorsen; Andrea Romano; Camilla Krakstad

    Endometrial cancer has a high prevalence among post-menopausal women in developed countries. We aimed to explore whether certain metabolic patterns could be related to the characteristics of aggressive disease and poorer survival among endometrial cancer patients in Western Norway. Patients with endometrial cancer with short survival (n = 20) were matched according to FIGO (International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 2009 criteria) stage, histology, and grade, with patients with long survival (n = 20). Plasma metabolites were measured on a multiplex system including 183 metabolites, which were subsequently determined using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Partial least square discriminant analysis, together with hierarchical clustering, was used to identify patterns which distinguished short from long survival. A proposed signature of metabolites related to survival was suggested, and a multivariate receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis yielded an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.820–0.965 (p ≤ 0.001). Methionine sulfoxide seems to be particularly strongly associated with poor survival rates in these patients. In a subgroup with preoperative contrast-enhanced computed tomography data, selected metabolites correlated with the estimated abdominal fat distribution parameters. Metabolic signatures may predict prognosis and be promising supplements when evaluating phenotypes and exploring metabolic pathways related to the progression of endometrial cancer. In the future, this may serve as a useful tool in cancer management.

  • Metabolites, Vol. 9, Pages 301: Emerging Insights into the Metabolic Alterations in Aging Using Metabolomics
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-12-13

    Metabolomics is the latest ‘omics’ technology and systems biology science that allows for comprehensive profiling of small-molecule metabolites in biological systems at a specific time and condition. Metabolites are cellular intermediate products of metabolic reactions, which reflect the ultimate response to genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic, or environmental changes in a biological system. Aging is a complex biological process that is characterized by a gradual and progressive decline in molecular, cellular, tissue, organ, and organismal functions, and it is influenced by a combination of genetic, environmental, diet, and lifestyle factors. The precise biological mechanisms of aging remain unknown. Metabolomics has emerged as a powerful tool to characterize the organism phenotypes, identify altered metabolites, pathways, novel biomarkers in aging and disease, and offers wide clinical applications. Here, I will provide a comprehensive overview of our current knowledge on metabolomics led studies in aging with particular emphasis on studies leading to biomarker discovery. Based on the data obtained from model organisms and humans, it is evident that metabolites associated with amino acids, lipids, carbohydrate, and redox metabolism may serve as biomarkers of aging and/or longevity. Current challenges and key questions that should be addressed in the future to advance our understanding of the biological mechanisms of aging are discussed.

  • Metabolites, Vol. 9, Pages 300: Metabolomics of Small Intestine Neuroendocrine Tumors and Related Hepatic Metastases
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-12-11
    Alessio Imperiale, Gilles Poncet, Pietro Addeo, Elisa Ruhland, Colette Roche, Stephanie Battini, A. Ercument Cicek, Marie Pierrette Chenard, Valérie Hervieu, Bernard Goichot, Philippe Bachellier, Thomas Walter, Izzie Jacques Namer

    To assess the metabolomic fingerprint of small intestine neuroendocrine tumors (SI-NETs) and related hepatic metastases, and to investigate the influence of the hepatic environment on SI-NETs metabolome. Ninety-four tissue samples, including 46 SI-NETs, 18 hepatic NET metastases and 30 normal SI and liver samples, were analyzed using 1H-magic angle spinning (HRMAS) NMR nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Twenty-seven metabolites were identified and quantified. Differences between primary NETs vs. normal SI and primary NETs vs. hepatic metastases, were assessed. Network analysis was performed according to several clinical and pathological features. Succinate, glutathion, taurine, myoinositol and glycerophosphocholine characterized NETs. Normal SI specimens showed higher levels of alanine, creatine, ethanolamine and aspartate. PLS-DA revealed a continuum-like distribution among normal SI, G1-SI-NETs and G2-SI-NETs. The G2-SI-NET distribution was closer and clearly separated from normal SI tissue. Lower concentration of glucose, serine and glycine, and increased levels of choline-containing compounds, taurine, lactate and alanine, were found in SI-NETs with more aggressive tumors. Higher abundance of acetate, succinate, choline, phosphocholine, taurine, lactate and aspartate discriminated liver metastases from normal hepatic parenchyma. Higher levels of alanine, ethanolamine, glycerophosphocholine and glucose was found in hepatic metastases than in primary SI-NETs. The present work gives for the first time a snapshot of the metabolomic characteristics of SI-NETs, suggesting the existence of complex metabolic reality, maybe characteristic of different tumor evolution.

  • Metabolites, Vol. 9, Pages 299: Acupuncture on ST36, CV4 and KI1 Suppresses the Progression of Methionine- and Choline-Deficient Diet-Induced Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Mice
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-12-09
    Xiangjin Meng, Xin Guo, Jing Zhang, Junji Moriya, Junji Kobayashi, Reimon Yamaguchi, Sohsuke Yamada

    Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most common chronic liver diseases worldwide, and its treatment remain a constant challenge. A number of clinical trials have shown that acupuncture treatment has beneficial effects for patients with NAFLD, but the molecular mechanisms underlying its action are still largely unknown. In this study, we established a mouse model of NAFLD by administering a methionine- and choline-deficient (MCD) diet and selected three acupoints (ST36, CV4, and KI1) or nonacupoints (sham) for needling. We then investigated the effects of acupuncture treatment on the progression of NAFLD and the underlying mechanisms. After two weeks of acupuncture treatment, the liver in the needling-nonapcupoint group (NG) mice appeared pale and yellowish in color, while that in the needling-acupoint group (AG) showed a bright red color. Histologically, fewer lipid droplets and inflammatory foci were observed in the AG liver than in the NG liver. Furthermore, the expression of proinflammatory signaling factors was significantly downregulated in the AG liver. A lipid analysis showed that the levels of triglyceride (TG) and free fatty acid (FFA) were lower in the AG liver than in the NG liver, with an altered expression of lipid metabolism-related factors as well. Moreover, the numbers of 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG)-positive hepatocytes and levels of hepatic thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) were significantly lower in AG mice than in NG mice. In line with these results, a higher expressions of antioxidant factors was found in the AG liver than in the NG liver. Our results indicate that acupuncture repressed the progression of NAFLD by inhibiting inflammatory reactions, reducing oxidative stress, and promoting lipid metabolism of hepatocytes, suggesting that this approach might be an important complementary treatment for NAFLD.

  • Metabolites, Vol. 9, Pages 298: Plasma Homocysteine and Polymorphisms of Genes Involved in Folate Metabolism Correlate with DNMT1 Gene Methylation Levels
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-12-07
    Fabio Coppedè, Andrea Stoccoro, Pierpaola Tannorella, Lucia Migliore

    DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) is responsible for the maintenance of DNA methylation patterns during cell division. Several human diseases are characterized by impaired DNMT1 gene methylation, but less is known about the factors that regulate DNMT1 promoter methylation levels. Dietary folates and related B-vitamins are essential micronutrients for DNA methylation processes, and we performed the present study to investigate the contribution of circulating folate, vitamin B12, homocysteine, and common polymorphisms in folate pathway genes to the DNMT1 gene methylation levels. We investigated DNMT1 gene methylation levels in peripheral blood DNA samples from 215 healthy individuals. All the DNA samples were genotyped for MTHFR 677C > T (rs1801133) and 1298A > C (rs1801131), MTRR 66A > G (rs1801394), MTR 2756A > G (rs1805087), SLC19A1 (RFC1) 80G > A (rs1051266), TYMS 28-bp tandem repeats (rs34743033) and 1494 6-bp insertion/deletion (indel) (rs34489327), DNMT3A -448A > G (rs1550117), and DNMT3B -149C > T (rs2424913) polymorphisms. Circulating homocysteine, folate, and vitamin B12 levels were available from 158 of the recruited individuals. We observed an inverse correlation between plasma homocysteine and DNMT1 methylation levels. Furthermore, both MTR rs1805087 and TYMS rs34743033 polymorphisms showed a statistically significant effect on DNMT1 methylation levels. The present study revealed several correlations between the folate metabolic pathway and DNMT1 promoter methylation that could be of relevance for those disorders characterized by altered DNA methylation.

  • Metabolites, Vol. 9, Pages 297: Short-Term Temporal Metabolic Behavior in Halophilic Cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. Strain PCC 7002 after Salt Shock
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-12-05
    Shimpei Aikawa, Atsumi Nishida, Tomohisa Hasunuma, Jo-Shu Chang, Akihiko Kondo

    In response to salt stress, cyanobacteria increases the gene expression of Na+/H+ antiporter and K+ uptake system proteins and subsequently accumulate compatible solutes. However, alterations in the concentrations of metabolic intermediates functionally related to the early stage of the salt stress response have not been investigated. The halophilic cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 was subjected to salt shock with 0.5 and 1 M NaCl, then we performed metabolomics analysis by capillary electrophoresis/mass spectrometry (CE/MS) and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) after cultivation for 1, 3, 10, and 24 h. Gene expression profiling using a microarray after 1 h of salt shock was also conducted. We observed suppression of the Calvin cycle and activation of glycolysis at both NaCl concentrations. However, there were several differences in the metabolic changes after salt shock following exposure to 0.5 M and 1 M NaCl: (i): the main compatible solute, glucosylglycerol, accumulated quickly at 0.5 M NaCl after 1 h but increased gradually for 10 h at 1 M NaCl; (ii) the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway and the tricarboxylic acid cycle were activated at 0.5 M NaCl; and (iii) the multi-functional compound spermidine greatly accumulated at 1 M NaCl. Our results show that Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 acclimated to different levels of salt through a salt stress response involving the activation of different metabolic pathways.

  • Metabolites, Vol. 9, Pages 296: Genomic Survey, Transcriptome, and Metabolome Analysis of Apocynum venetum and Apocynum hendersonii to Reveal Major Flavonoid Biosynthesis Pathways
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-12-05
    Gang Gao, Ping Chen, Jikang Chen, Kunmei Chen, Xiaofei Wang, Aminu Shehu Abubakar, Ning Liu, Chunming Yu, Aiguo Zhu

    Apocynum plants, especially A. venetum and A. hendersonii, are rich in flavonoids. In the present study, a whole genome survey of the two species was initially carried out to optimize the flavonoid biosynthesis-correlated gene mining. Then, the metabolome and transcriptome analyses were combined to elucidate the flavonoid biosynthesis pathways. Both species have small genome sizes of 232.80 Mb (A. venetum) and 233.74 Mb (A. hendersonii) and showed similar metabolite profiles with flavonols being the main differentiated flavonoids between the two specie. Positive correlation of gene expression levels (flavonone-3 hydroxylase, anthocyanidin reductase, and flavonoid 3-O-glucosyltransferase) and total flavonoid content were observed. The contents of quercitrin, hyperoside, and total anthocyanin in A. venetum were found to be much higher than in A. hendersonii, and such was thought to be the reason for the morphological difference in color of A. venetum and A. hendersonii. This study provides valuable genomic and metabolome information for understanding of A. venetum and A. hendersonii, and lays a foundation for elucidating Apocynum genus plant flavonoid biosynthesis.

  • Metabolites, Vol. 9, Pages 295: Metabolomic Profiling Reveals the Difference on Reproductive Performance between High and Low Lactational Weight Loss Sows
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-12-04
    Liang Hu, Lianqiang Che, Chen Wu, Mihai Victor Curtasu, Fali Wu, Zhengfeng Fang, Yan Lin, Shengyu Xu, Bin Feng, Jian Li, Yong Zhuo, Peter Kappel Theil, De Wu

    Sows suffering excess weight loss during lactation may delay weaning to estrus interval (WEI) and have a detrimental effect on subsequent reproductive performance, however, the underlying mechanism is not completely clear. Therefore, the goal of this study was to investigate physiological profiles manifested in plasma originating from high (HWL) and low lactational weight loss (LWL) sows. The plasma biochemical parameters, hormones, antioxidant parameters, and milk compositions were assessed. Furthermore, plasma metabolites were analyzed using ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography/time-of-flight mass spectrometry in positive and negative ion modes. Results showed that HWL sows had a lower feed intake and higher lactational weight loss and prolonged WEI, but had similar litter performance and milk composition compared to LWL sows. These changes were associated with lower plasma insulin-like growth factor 1 and higher fibroblast growth factor 21 levels in the HWL sows. Moreover, HWL led to a severe oxidative stress and metabolic damage, as accompanied by excessive protein breakdown and lipids mobilization at weaning. Metabolomic analysis revealed differences in 46 compounds between HWL and LWL sows, and the identified compounds were enriched in metabolic pathways related to amino acids metabolism, fatty acids oxidation metabolism, bile acids biosynthesis, and nucleoside metabolism. These results provide the evidence for physiological mechanism in sows with excessive lactational weight loss that delayed the WEI. Metabolomic data provides essential information and gives rise to potential targets for the development of nutritional intervention strategies.

  • Metabolites, Vol. 9, Pages 294: Insights on Salt Tolerance of Two Endemic Limonium Species from Spain
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-11-29
    Sara González-Orenga, P. Pablo Ferrer-Gallego, Emilio Laguna, M. Pilar López-Gresa, Maria P. Donat-Torres, Mercedes Verdeguer, Oscar Vicente, Monica Boscaiu

    We have analysed the salt tolerance of two endemic halophytes of the genus Limonium, with high conservation value. In the present study, seed germination and growth parameters as well as different biomarkers—photosynthetic pigments, mono and divalent ion contents—associated to salt stress were evaluated in response to high levels of NaCl. The study was completed with an untargeted metabolomics analysis of the primary compounds including carbohydrates, phosphoric and organic acids, and amino acids, identified by using a gas chromatography and mass spectrometry platform. Limonium albuferae proved to be more salt-tolerant than L. doufourii, both at the germination stage and during vegetative growth. The degradation of photosynthetic pigments and the increase of Na+/K+ ratio under salt stress were more accentuated in the less tolerant second species. The metabolomics analysis unravelled several differences between the two species. The higher salt tolerance of L. albuferae may rely on its specific accumulation of fructose and glucose under high salinity conditions, the first considered as a major osmolyte in this genus. In addition, L. albuferae showed steady levels of citric and malic acids, whereas the glutamate family pathway was strongly activated under stress in both species, leading to the accumulation of proline (Pro) and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA).

  • Metabolites, Vol. 9, Pages 293: Degradation of Extracellular NAD+ Intermediates in Cultures of Human HEK293 Cells
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-11-29
    Veronika Kulikova, Konstantin Shabalin, Kirill Nerinovski, Alexander Yakimov, Maria Svetlova, Ljudmila Solovjeva, Andrey Kropotov, Mikhail Khodorkovskiy, Marie E. Migaud, Mathias Ziegler, Andrey Nikiforov

    Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) is an essential redox carrier, whereas its degradation is a key element of important signaling pathways. Human cells replenish their NAD contents through NAD biosynthesis from extracellular precursors. These precursors encompass bases nicotinamide (Nam) and nicotinic acid and their corresponding nucleosides nicotinamide riboside (NR) and nicotinic acid riboside (NAR), now collectively referred to as vitamin B3. In addition, extracellular NAD+ and nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), and potentially their deamidated counterparts, nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide (NAAD) and nicotinic acid mononucleotide (NAMN), may serve as precursors of intracellular NAD. However, it is still debated whether nucleotides enter cells directly or whether they are converted to nucleosides and bases prior to uptake into cells. Here, we studied the metabolism of extracellular NAD+ and its derivatives in human HEK293 cells using normal and serum-free culture medium. Using medium containing 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS), mono- and dinucleotides were degraded to the corresponding nucleosides. In turn, the nucleosides were cleaved to their corresponding bases. Degradation was also observed in culture medium alone, in the absence of cells, indicating that FBS contains enzymatic activities which degrade NAD+ intermediates. Surprisingly, NR was also rather efficiently hydrolyzed to Nam in the absence of FBS. When cultivated in serum-free medium, HEK293 cells efficiently cleaved NAD+ and NAAD to NMN and NAMN. NMN exhibited rather high stability in cell culture, but was partially metabolized to NR. Using pharmacological inhibitors of plasma membrane transporters, we also showed that extracellular cleavage of NAD+ and NMN to NR is a prerequisite for using these nucleotides to maintain intracellular NAD contents. We also present evidence that, besides spontaneous hydrolysis, NR is intensively metabolized in cell culture by intracellular conversion to Nam. Our results demonstrate that both the cultured cells and the culture medium mediate a rather active conversion of NAD+ intermediates. Consequently, in studies of precursor supplementation and uptake, the culture conditions need to be carefully defined.

  • Metabolites, Vol. 9, Pages 292: Ammonium Fluoride as Suitable Additive for HILIC-Based LC-HRMS Metabolomics
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-11-27
    Luca Narduzzi, Anne-Lise Royer, Emmanuelle Bichon, Yann Guitton, Corinne Buisson, Bruno Le Bizec, Gaud Dervilly-Pinel

    Hydrophilic Interaction Liquid Chromatography (HILIC) chromatography is widely applied in metabolomics as a complementary strategy to reverse phase chromatography. Nevertheless, it still faces several issues in terms of peak shape and compounds ionization, limiting the automatic de-convolution and data semi-quantification performed through dedicated software. A way to improve the chromatographic and ionization performance of a HILIC method is to modify the electrostatic interactions of the analytes with both mobile and stationary phases. In this study, using a ZIC-HILIC chromatographic phase, we evaluated the performance of ammonium fluoride (AF) as additive salt, comparing its performance to ammonium acetate (AA). Three comparative criteria were selected: (1) identification and peak quality of 34 standards following a metabolomics-specific evaluation approach, (2) an intraday repeatability test with real samples and (3) performing two real metabolomics fingerprints with the AF method to evaluate its inter-day repeatability. The AF method showed not only higher ionization efficiency and signal-to-noise ratio but also better repeatability and robustness than the AA approach. A tips and tricks section is then added, aiming at improving method replicability for further users. In conclusion, ammonium fluoride as additive salt presents several advantages and might be considered as a step forward in the application of robust HILIC methods in metabolomics.

  • Metabolites, Vol. 9, Pages 291: Mucosal Metabolomic Profiling and Pathway Analysis Reveal the Metabolic Signature of Ulcerative Colitis
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-11-27
    Joseph Diab, Terkel Hansen, Rasmus Goll, Hans Stenlund, Einar Jensen, Thomas Moritz, Jon Florholmen, Guro Forsdahl

    The onset of ulcerative colitis (UC) is characterized by a dysregulated mucosal immune response triggered by several genetic and environmental factors in the context of host–microbe interaction. This complexity makes UC ideal for metabolomic studies to unravel the disease pathobiology and to improve the patient stratification strategies. This study aims to explore the mucosal metabolomic profile in UC patients, and to define the UC metabolic signature. Treatment- naïve UC patients (n = 18), UC patients in deep remission (n = 10), and healthy volunteers (n = 14) were recruited. Mucosa biopsies were collected during colonoscopies. Metabolomic analysis was performed by combined gas chromatography coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC-TOF-MS) and ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS). In total, 177 metabolites from 50 metabolic pathways were identified. The most prominent metabolome changes among the study groups were in lysophosphatidylcholine, acyl carnitine, and amino acid profiles. Several pathways were found perturbed according to the integrated pathway analysis. These pathways ranged from amino acid metabolism (such as tryptophan metabolism) to fatty acid metabolism, namely linoleic and butyrate. These metabolic changes during UC reflect the homeostatic disturbance in the gut, and highlight the importance of system biology approaches to identify key drivers of pathogenesis which prerequisite personalized medicine.

  • Metabolites, Vol. 9, Pages 290: Metabolic Fingerprint of Chronic Obstructive Lung Diseases: A New Diagnostic Perspective
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-11-26
    Dimitris Tsoukalas, Evangelia Sarandi, Maria Thanasoula, Anca Oana Docea, Gerasimos Tsilimidos, Daniela Calina, Aristides Tsatsakis

    Chronic obstructive lung disease (COLD) is a group of airway diseases, previously known as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. The heterogeneity of COLD does not allow early diagnosis and leads to increased morbidity and mortality. The increasing number of COLD incidences stresses the need for precision medicine approaches that are specific to the patient. Metabolomics is an emerging technology that allows for the discrimination of metabolic changes in the cell as a result of environmental factors and specific genetic background. Thus, quantification of metabolites in human biofluids can provide insights into the metabolic state of the individual in real time and unravel the presence of, or predisposition to, a disease. In this article, the advantages of and potential barriers to putting metabolomics into clinical practice for COLD are discussed. Today, metabolomics is mostly lab-based, and research studies with novel COLD-specific biomarkers are continuously being published. Several obstacles in the research and the market field hamper the translation of these data into clinical practice. However, technological and computational advances will facilitate the clinical interpretation of data and provide healthcare professionals with the tools to prevent, diagnose, and treat COLD with precision in the coming decades.

  • Metabolites, Vol. 9, Pages 289: Untargeted Metabolomics-Based Screening Method for Inborn Errors of Metabolism using Semi-Automatic Sample Preparation with an UHPLC- Orbitrap-MS Platform
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-11-26
    Ramon Bonte, Michiel Bongaerts, Serwet Demirdas, Janneke G. Langendonk, Hidde H. Huidekoper, Monique Williams, Willem Onkenhout, Edwin H. Jacobs, Henk J. Blom, George J. G. Ruijter

    Routine diagnostic screening of inborn errors of metabolism (IEM) is currently performed by different targeted analyses of known biomarkers. This approach is time-consuming, targets a limited number of biomarkers and will not identify new biomarkers. Untargeted metabolomics generates a global metabolic phenotype and has the potential to overcome these issues. We describe a novel, single platform, untargeted metabolomics method for screening IEM, combining semi-automatic sample preparation with pentafluorophenylpropyl phase (PFPP)-based UHPLC- Orbitrap-MS. We evaluated analytical performance and diagnostic capability of the method by analysing plasma samples of 260 controls and 53 patients with 33 distinct IEM. Analytical reproducibility was excellent, with peak area variation coefficients below 20% for the majority of the metabolites. We illustrate that PFPP-based chromatography enhances identification of isomeric compounds. Ranked z-score plots of metabolites annotated in IEM samples were reviewed by two laboratory specialists experienced in biochemical genetics, resulting in the correct diagnosis in 90% of cases. Thus, our untargeted metabolomics platform is robust and differentiates metabolite patterns of different IEMs from those of controls. We envision that the current approach to diagnose IEM, using numerous tests, will eventually be replaced by untargeted metabolomics methods, which also have the potential to discover novel biomarkers and assist in interpretation of genetic data.

  • Metabolites, Vol. 9, Pages 288: 1H-NMR Urinary Metabolic Profile, A Promising Tool for the Management of Infants with Human Cytomegalovirus-Infection
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-11-25
    Marie Antoinette Frick, Ignasi Barba, Marina Fenoy-Alejandre, Paula López-López, Fernando Baquero-Artigao, Paula Rodríguez-Molino, Antoni Noguera-Julian, Marta Nicolás-López, Asunción de la Fuente-Juárez, Maria Gemma Codina-Grau, Juliana Esperalba Esquerra, Ángeles Linde-Sillo, Pere Soler-Palacín

    Congenital human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection is the most common mother-to-child transmitted infection in the developed world. Certain aspects of its management remain a challenge. Urinary metabolic profiling is a promising tool for use in pediatric conditions. The aim of this study was to investigate the urinary metabolic profile in HCMV-infected infants and controls during acute care hospitalization. Urine samples were collected from 53 patients at five hospitals participating in the Spanish congenital HCMV registry. Thirty-one cases of HCMV infection and 22 uninfected controls were included. Proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR) spectra were obtained using NOESYPR1D pulse sequence. The dataset underwent orthogonal projection on latent structures discriminant analysis to identify candidate variables affecting the urinary metabolome: HCMV infection, type of infection, sex, chronological age, gestational age, type of delivery, twins, and diet. Statistically significant discriminative models were obtained only for HCMV infection (p = 0.03) and chronological age (p < 0.01). No significant differences in the metabolomic profile were found between congenital and postnatal HCMV infection. When the HCMV-infected group was analyzed according to chronological age, a statistically significant model was obtained only in the neonatal group (p = 0.01), with the differentiating metabolites being betaine, glycine, alanine, and dimethylamine. Despite the considerable variation in urinary metabolic profiles in a real-life setting, clinical application of metabolomics to the study of HCMV infection seems feasible.

  • Metabolites, Vol. 9, Pages 287: ADGRL4/ELTD1 Silencing in Endothelial Cells Induces ACLY and SLC25A1 and Alters the Cellular Metabolic Profile
    Metabolites (IF 3.303) Pub Date : 2019-11-25
    David M. Favara, Christos E. Zois, Syed Haider, Elisabete Pires, Helen Sheldon, James McCullagh, Alison H. Banham, Adrian L. Harris

    Adhesion G Protein-Coupled Receptor L4 (ADGRL4/ELTD1) is an endothelial cell adhesion G protein-coupled receptor (aGPCR) which regulates physiological and tumour angiogenesis, providing an attractive target for anti-cancer therapeutics. To date, ADGRL4/ELTD1′s full role and mechanism of function within endothelial biology remains unknown, as do its ligand(s). In this study, ADGRL4/ELTD1 silencing, using two independent small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), was performed in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECS) followed by transcriptional profiling, target gene validation, and metabolomics using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry in order to better characterise ADGRL4/ELTD1′s role in endothelial cell biology. We show that ADGRL4/ELTD1 silencing induced expression of the cytoplasmic metabolic regulator ATP Citrate Lyase (ACLY) and the mitochondria-to-cytoplasm citrate transporter Solute Carrier Family 25 Member 1 (SLC25A1) but had no apparent effect on pathways downstream of ACLY (fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis or acetylation). Silencing induced KIT expression and affected the Notch signalling pathway, upregulating Delta Like Canonical Notch Ligand 4 (DLL4) and suppressing Jagged Canonical Notch Ligand 1 (JAG1) and Hes Family BHLH Transcription Factor 2 (HES2). The effect of ADGRL4/ELTD1 silencing on the cellular metabolic profile was modest but several metabolites were significantly affected. Cis-aconitic acid, uridine diphosphate (UDP)-glucoronate, fructose 2,6-diphosphate, uridine 5-diphosphate, and aspartic acid were all elevated as a result of silencing and phosphocreatine, N-acetylglutamic acid, taurine, deoxyadenosine triphosphate, and cytidine monophosphate were depleted. Metabolic pathway analysis implicated ADGRL4/ELTD1 in pyrimidine, amino acid, and sugar metabolism. In summary, this study shows that ADGRL4/ELTD1 impacts core components of endothelial metabolism and regulates genes involved in endothelial differentiation/homeostasis and Notch signalling.

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