Folic acid is an essential nutrient that is required for one-carbon biosynthetic processes and for methylation of biomolecules. Deficiency of this micronutrient leads to disturbances in normal physiology of cell. Chronic alcoholism is well known to be associated with folate deficiency, which is due in part to folate malabsorption. The present study deals with the regulatory mechanisms of folate uptake in liver during chronic alcoholism. Male Wistar rats were fed 1 g/kg body weight/day ethanol (20 % solution) orally for 3 months, and the molecular mechanisms of folate uptake were studied in liver. The characterization of the folate transport system in liver basolateral membrane (BLM) suggested it to be a carrier mediated and acidic pH dependent, with the major involvement of proton coupled folate transporter and folate binding protein in the uptake. The folate transporters were found to be associated with lipid raft microdomain of liver BLM. Moreover, ethanol ingestion decreased the folate transport by altering the Vmax of folate transport process and downregulated the expression of folate transporters in lipid rafts. The decreased transporter levels were associated with reduced protein and mRNA levels of these transporters in liver. The deranged folate uptake together with reduced folate transporter levels in lipid rafts resulted in reduced folate levels in liver and thereby to its reduced levels in serum of ethanol-fed rats. The chronic ethanol ingestion led to decreased folate uptake in liver, which was associated with the decreased number of transporter molecules in the lipid rafts that can be ascribed to the reduced synthesis of these transporters.
Folate uptake; Liver; Lipid rafts; RFC; PCFT; FBP; Alcohol
Hydrogen sulphide (H2S) is a gaseous signalling molecule that regulates blood flow and pressure. It is synthesised from cysteine via cystathionine β-synthase and cystathionine γ-lyase. We examined whether thiol precursors of H2S, transsulphuration pathway gene variants (CBS-844ins68 and CTH-G1364T) and key B-vitamin cofactors might be critical determinants of hypertension in an elderly Australian population. An elderly Australian retirement village population (n = 228; age 65–96 years, 91 males and 137 females) was assessed for the prevalence of two transsulphuration pathway–related variant genes associated with cysteine synthesis and hence H2S production. Thiols were determined by HPLC, genotypes by PCR and dietary intake by food frequency questionnaire. Homocysteine levels were statistically higher in the hypertensive phenotype (p = 0.0399), but there was no difference for cysteine or glutathione. Using nominal logistic regression, cysteine, CTH-G1364T genotype, dietary synthetic folate and vitamin B6 predicted clinical phenotype (determined as above/below 140/90 mm Hg) and then only in female subjects (p = 0.0239, 0.0178, 0.0249 and 0.0371, respectively). Least-squares regression supports cysteine being highly inversely predictive of diastolic blood pressure: p and r2 values <0.0001 and 0.082; 0.0409 and 0.046; and <0.0001 and 0.113 for all subjects, males and females, respectively. Additionally, CTH-G1364T genotype predicts diastolic blood pressure in males (p = 0.0217; r2 = 0.083), but contrasts with observations for females. Overall, analyses, including stepwise regression, suggest cysteine, dietary natural and synthetic folate, vitamins B6 and B12, and both genetic variants (CTH-C1364T and CBS-844ins68) are all aetiologically relevant in the regulation of blood pressure. Hydrogen sulphide is a vasorelaxant gasotransmitter with characteristics similar to nitric oxide. Cysteine and the G1364T and 844ins68 variants of the cystathionine γ-lyase and cystathionine β-synthase genes, respectively, are the biological determinants of H2S synthesis, and all three are shown here to influence the hypertensive phenotype. Additionally, B-vitamin cofactors for these three enzymes may also be important determinants of blood pressure.
Hydrogen sulphide; Cystathionine γ-lyase; Cysteine; Homocysteine; Hypertension; Cystathionine β-synthase; B-vitamins
The relationship between genetic and the environment represents a pathway to better understand individual variations in nutrition intake and food preferences. However, the present literature is weakened somewhat by methodological flaws (e.g., overreliance on self-report questionnaires), discrepancies in statistical approaches, and inconsistent findings. Little research on this topic to date has included examination of micronutrient intake. The purpose of this study is to improve the existing literature on genetic and environmental influences on energy and nutrient intake by addressing these gaps. Twin pairs (N = 358; age 11–13 years) provided 3-day food intake diaries, which were assessed for intake of total energy, macronutrients, and micronutrients. Structural equation modeling revealed that genetic influences accounted for a significant portion of the total variance in total energy (48 %), macronutrients (35–45 %), minerals (45 %), and vitamins (21 %). Consistent with previous studies, the shared environment appeared to contribute little to nutritional intake. Findings on vitamin and mineral intake are novel and are particularly beneficial for further research on the contribution of micronutrients to individual physical health status. Better understanding of the linkage between genes, environment, and nutritional intake and deficiencies can clarify behavioral and physical outcomes, potentially informing risk reduction, primary prevention, and intervention strategies.
Twin; Genes; Nutrient; Diet; Heritability; Environment
Little is known about the role of folate and polymorphisms associated with folate metabolism on prostate cancer risk in populations of African origin. We examined the relationship between serum folate and prostate cancer and whether any association was modified by genetic polymorphisms for folate metabolism. The study was case–control in design and consisted of 218 men 40–80 years old with newly diagnosed, histologically confirmed prostate cancer and 236 cancer-free men attending the same urology clinics in Jamaica, March 2005–July 2007. Serum folate was measured by an immunoassay method and genomic DNA evaluated for MTHR (C677T and A1298C), MTRR A66G, and MTR A2756G polymorphisms. Mean serum folate concentration was higher among cases (12.3 ± 4.1 nmol/L) than controls (9.7 ± 4.2 nmol/L). Serum folate concentration showed a positive association with prostate cancer (OR, 4.41; CI, 2.52–7.72 per 10 nmol/L) regardless of grade. No interactions were observed between genotype and folate concentration, but a weak gene effect was observed for MTHFR A1298C and low-grade prostate cancer. Larger studies to investigate the role of gene–gene/gene–diet interactions in Black men are needed.
Prostate cancer; Serum folate; Folate pathway genes; African ancestry
Nutritional advice has mainly focused on population-level recommendations. Recent developments in nutrition, communication, and marketing sciences have enabled potential deviations from this dominant business model in the direction of personalisation of nutrition advice. Such personalisation efforts can take on many forms, but these have in common that they can only be effective if they are supported by a viable business model. The present paper takes an inventory of approaches to personalised nutrition currently available in the market place as its starting point to arrive at an identification of their underlying business models. This analysis is presented as a unifying framework against which the potential of nutrigenomics-based personalised advice can be assessed. It has uncovered nine archetypical approaches to personalised nutrition advice in terms of their dominant underlying business models. Differentiating features among such business models are the type of information that is used as a basis for personalisation, the definition of the target group, the communication channels that are being adopted, and the partnerships that are built as a part of the business model. Future research should explore the consumer responses to the diversity of “archetypical” business models for personalised nutrition advice as a source of market information on which the delivery of nutrigenomics-based personalised nutrition advice may further build.
Personalised nutrition; Business models; Consumer; Value creation
Significant health benefits have been demonstrated for certain probiotic strains through intervention studies; however, there is a shortage of experimental evidence relative to the mechanisms of action. Here, noninvasive experimental procedure based on a colon organ culture system has been used that, in contrast to most experimental in vitro models reported, can preserve natural immunohistochemical features of the human mucosa. This system has been used to test whether commensal lactobacilli (Lactobacillus paracasei BL23, Lactobacillus plantarum 299v and L. plantarum 299v (A−)) were able to hinder inflammation-like signals induced by phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA)/ionomycin (IO). Whole genome microarrays have been applied to analyze expression differences, from which mRNA markers could be inferred to monitor the effect of putative probiotic strains under such conditions. Regarding the gene expression, PMA/IO treatment induced not only interleukin (IL)-2 and interferon gamma (IFN-γ), as expected, but also other relevant genes related to immune response and inflammation, such as IL-17A, chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand (CXCL) 9 and CXCL11. The ex vivo culturing did not modify the pattern of expression of those genes or others related to inflammation. Interestingly, this study demonstrated that lactobacilli downregulated those genes and triggered a global change of the transcriptional profile that indicated a clear homeostasis restoring effect and a decrease in signals produced by activated T cells.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12263-012-0301-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Colonic explants; PMA/ionomycin; Lactobacillus paracasei; Lactobacillus plantarum; Human microarrays; Inflammation; Homeostasis; Functionality markers
Endothelial hyperpermeability induced by hyperglycemia is the initial step in the development of atherosclerosis, one of the most serious cardiovascular complications in diabetes. In the present study, we investigated the effects of resveratrol (RSV), a bioactive ingredient extracted from Chinese herb rhizoma polygonum cuspidatum, on permeability in vitro and the molecular mechanisms involved. Permeability was assessed by the efflux of fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-dextran permeated through the monolayer endothelial cells (ECs). The mRNA levels, protein expressions, and secretions were measured by quantitative real-time PCR, western blot, and ELISA, respectively. Increased permeability and caveolin-1 (cav-1) expression were observed in monolayer ECs exposed to high glucose. Resveratrol treatment alleviated the hyperpermeability and the overexpression of cav-1 induced by high glucose in a dose-dependent manner. β-Cyclodextrin, a structural inhibitor of caveolae, reduced the hyperpermeability caused by high glucose. Resveratrol also down-regulated the increased expressions of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and kinase insert domain receptor (KDR, or VEGF receptor-2) induced by high glucose. Inhibition of VEGF/KDR pathway by using SU5416, a selective inhibitor of KDR, alleviated the hyperpermeability and the cav-1 overexpression induced by high glucose. The above results demonstrate that RSV ameliorates caveolae-mediated hyperpermeability induced by high glucose via VEGF/KDR pathway.
Resveratrol; Diabetes; Atherosclerosis; Hyperpermeability; Caveolae; VEGF
A methyl-deficient diet (MD) lacking folic acid and the associated methyl donors choline and methionine, fed to the laboratory rat during the periods of oocyte and embryo development, has been shown to programme glucose metabolism in the offspring. The hepatic proteome of the male offspring of female rats fed MD diets for 3 weeks prior to mating and for the first 5 days of gestation has been examined by 2-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Three groups of differentially abundant proteins associated with energy metabolism, amino acid metabolism and antioxidant defence were identified in the soluble proteins extracted from the liver from the MD offspring at both 6 and 12 months of age. Altered mitochondrial activity in other programming models leads to a similar pattern of differential protein abundance. Two of the differentially abundant proteins were identified as GAPDH and PGK-1 by mass spectrometry. Western blotting showed that there were multiple isoforms of both proteins with similar molecular weights but different isoelectric points. The differentially abundant spots reduced in the MD offspring corresponded to minor isoforms of GAPDH and PGK-1. The levels of PPAR-alpha, SREBP and glucocorticoid receptor mRNAs associated with other models of prenatal programming were unchanged in the MD offspring. The data suggest that a diet deficient in folic acid and associated methyl donors fed during the peri-conception and early preimplantation periods of mammalian development affects mitochondrial function in the offspring and that the posttranslational modification of proteins may be important.
Foetal programming; Methylation; PEPCK; Mitochondria
Folate hydrolase 1 (FOLH1) gene encodes intestinal folate hydrolase, which regulates intestinal absorption of dietary folate. Previous studies on the association between polymorphisms rs202676 and rs61886492 and the risk of neural tube defects (NTDs) were inconclusive. A case–control study of women with NTD-affected pregnancies (n = 160) and controls (n = 320) was conducted in the Chinese population of Lvliang, a high-risk area for NTDs. We genotyped the polymorphic sites rs202676 and rs61886492 and assessed maternal plasma folate and total homocysteine (tHcy). Our results showed that in case group, plasma folate concentrations were 18 % lower compared with those of control group (8.32 vs. 6.79 nmol/L, p = 0.033) and tHcy concentrations were 17 % higher (10.47 vs. 12.65 μmol/L, p = 0.047). Almost all samples had the rs61886492 GG genotype (99.78 %). The result showed that the frequency of GG genotype in rs202676 was significantly higher in group with multiple NTDs than in controls (p = 0.030, OR = 2.157, 95 % CI, 1.06–4.38). The multiple-NTD group showed higher maternal plasma concentrations of tHcy (10.47 vs. 13.96 μmol/L, p = 0.024). The GG genotype of rs202676 had a lower maternal folate and higher tHcy concentrations than other genotypes with no significant differences. The result of structural prediction indicated that this variation might change the spatial structure of the protein. These results suggested that the maternal polymorphism rs202676 was a potential risk factor for multiple NTDs in this Chinese population. The allele G might affect maternal plasma folate and tHcy concentration.
Association study; Chinese population; FOLH1; Neural tube defects; Single-nucleotide polymorphism
Adult-type hypolactasia (AtH or lactase non-persistence) is the physiological decline in lactase activity that manifests in majority of the world’s population after weaning. Recently, various single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) upstream of lactase gene (LCT) have been suggested to be associated with AtH or the lactase persistent trait in different human populations. C/T -13910 SNP was found be completely associated with AtH in Finnish population, and G/A -22018 SNP was found to be strongly, but not completely, associated with AtH. The aim of this study was to correlate G/A -22018 SNP with intestinal lactase activity in North Indian children. These children were also genotyped for C/T -13910 SNP. We also examined the differences in milk consumption and milk-related clinical symptoms in children with different genotypes of G/A -22018 and C/T -13910 SNPs. Intestinal biopsies were obtained from 231 children aged 2–16 years undergoing routine endoscopy for various abdominal complaints. The biopsies were assayed for lactase, sucrase, and maltase activities and genotyped for G/A -22018 and C/T -13910 SNPs using restriction fragment length polymorphism and DNA sequencing analysis. There was a significant correlation between lactase activity and different genotypes of G/A -22018 SNP. Children with G/G -22018 genotype had low lactase activity. With a reference value of <10 U/g protein (lactase activity) to be indicative of AtH, the sensitivity and specificity of genetic test based on G/A -22018 SNP was 94.4 and 94.1 %, respectively. Furthermore, the consumption of milk was lower in children with G/G -22018 genotype. Flatulence was the only symptom significantly more frequent among the children with G/G -22018 genotype compared to those with G/A and A/A -22018 genotypes. However, most of the children with G/G -22018 genotype seem to tolerate small amounts of milk without any significant difference in gastrointestinal symptoms from those with G/A and A/A -22018 genotypes.
Adult-type hypolactasia; G/A -22018 SNP; Milk intake; Indian children
Fish aquaculture is considered to be one of the most sustainable sources of protein for humans. Many different species are cultured worldwide, but among them, marine flatfishes comprise a group of teleosts of high commercial interest because of their highly prized white flesh. However, the aquaculture of these fishes is seriously hampered by the scarce knowledge on their biology. In recent years, various experimental ‘omics’ approaches have been applied to farmed flatfishes to increment the genomic resources available. These tools are beginning to identify genetic markers associated with traits of commercial interest, and to unravel the molecular basis of different physiological processes. This article summarizes recent advances in flatfish genomics research in Europe. We focus on the new generation sequencing technologies, which can produce a massive amount of DNA sequencing data, and discuss their potentials and applications for de novo genome sequencing and transcriptome analysis. The relevance of these methods in nutrigenomics and foodomics approaches for the production of healthy animals, as well as high quality and safety products for the consumer, is also briefly discussed.
Genome sequencing; NGS technologies; Transcriptome; Microarray; Nutrigenomics
The relationship between obesity and a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs5443 (C825T), in the guanine nucleotide binding protein beta polypeptide 3 (GNB3) gene is currently inconsistent. In this study, we aimed to reassess whether the GNB3 rs5443 SNP could influence obesity and obesity-related metabolic traits in a Taiwanese population. A total of 983 Taiwanese subjects with general health examinations were genotyped. Based on the criteria defined by the Department of Health in Taiwan, the terms “overweight” and “obesity” are defined as 24 ≦ BMI < 27 and BMI ≧ 27, respectively. Compared to the carrier of the combined CT + TT genotypes of the GNB3 rs5443 polymorphism, triglyceride was significantly higher for the carrier of CC genotype in the complete sample population (128.2 ± 93.2 vs. 114.3 ± 79.1 mg/dl; P = 0.041). In addition, the carriers of CC variant had a higher total cholesterol than those with the combined CT + TT variants (194.5 ± 36.8 vs. 187.9 ± 33.0 mg/dl; P = 0.019) in the complete sample population. In the normal controls, both triglyceride (P = 0.018) and total cholesterol (P = 0.011) were also significantly higher in the CC homozygotes than in the combined CT + TT genotypes. However, the GNB3 rs5443 SNP did not exhibit any significant association with obesity or overweight among the subjects. Our study indicates that the CC genotype of the GNB3 rs5443 SNP may predict higher obesity-related metabolic traits such as triglyceride and total cholesterol in non-obese Taiwanese subjects (but not in obese subjects).
G-protein; Metabolic phenotypes; Obesity; Single nucleotide polymorphisms
Dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) can be converted to prostaglandins and leukotrienes. Oxygenation of omega-6 PUFAs generally results in the production of pro-inflammatory mediators, whereas oxygenated products of omega-3 (n-3) PUFAs generally have lower inflammatory activity. We hypothesize that elevated n-3 PUFA intakes from fish are associated with lower risk of colorectal cancer among those with genetic variants that result in higher levels of pro-inflammatory mediators. In population-based case–control studies of colon (case n = 1,574) and rectal cancer (case n = 791) and disease-free controls (n = 2,969), we investigated interactions between dietary fatty acid intake and 107 candidate polymorphisms and tagSNPs in PTGS1, PTGS2, ALOX12, ALOX5, ALOX15, and FLAP. The two studies used an identical genotyping protocol. We observed interactions and statistically significant increases in colon cancer risk for low docosahexaenoic acid intake among those with the PTGS1 rs10306110 (−1,053 A > G) variant genotypes (OR = 1.6, 95 % confidence interval = 1.1–2.3, adj. p = 0.06) and rectal cancer risk for low total fat intake among those with the variant PTGS1 rs10306122 (7,135 A > G) (ORvs.wt = 1.80, 1.02–2.99; adj. p = 0.08). The ALOX15 rs11568131 (10,339 C > T) wild type in combination with a high inflammation score (low EPA intake, high AA intake, no regular NSAID use, high BMI, smoking) was associated with increased colon cancer risk (OR = 2.28, 1.7–3.07). Rectal cancer risk was inversely associated with a low inflammation score among PTGS2 rs4648276 (3,934 T > C) variant allele carriers (OR = 0.49, 0.25–0.75). Overall, these data provide some modest evidence for interactions between dietary fat intake and genetic variation in genes involved in eicosanoid metabolism and colorectal cancer risk.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12263-012-0302-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Colon cancer; Rectal cancer; Genetic variants; Fatty acid intake
TGF-β is a potent pleiotropic factor that promotes small intestinal cell differentiation. The role of microRNAs in the TGF-β induction of intestinal epithelial phenotype is largely unknown. We hypothesized that microRNAs are functionally involved in TGF-β-induced intestinal cell growth. In this study, TGF-β caused a morphological change of IEC-6 cells and stimulated expression of the epithelial cell markers alkaline phosphatase, villin, and aminopeptidase N. By global microRNA profiling during TGF-β-induced intestinal crypt cell (IEC-6) differentiation, we identified 19 differentially expressed microRNAs. We showed by real-time Q-PCR that miR-146b expression increased rapidly after TGF-β treatment; sequence analysis and in vitro assays revealed that miR-146b targets SIAH2, an E3 ubiquitin ligase, with decreased protein expression upon IEC-6 cell differentiation. Transfection of miR-146b inhibitor before TGF-β treatment blocked the down-regulation of SIAH2 in response to TGF-β. Moreover, SIAH2 over-expression during TGF-β treatment caused a significant decrease in Smad7 protein expression in IEC-6 cells. Furthermore, activation of the ERK1/2 pathway is active in the up-regulation of miR-146b by TGF-β. These findings suggest a novel mechanism whereby TGF-β signaling during IEC-6 cell differentiation may be modulated in part by microRNAs, and we propose a key role for miR-146b in the homeostasis of growth factor TGF-β signaling through a negative feedback regulation involving down-regulation of SIAH2 repressed Smad7 activities.
IEC-6 cell; TGF-β; Differentiation; miR-146b; microRNA array; SIAH2
Malnutrition is a prevalent and entrenched global socioeconomic challenge that reflects the combined impact of poverty, poor access to food, inefficient food distribution infrastructure, and an over-reliance on subsistence mono-agriculture. The dependence on staple cereals lacking many essential nutrients means that malnutrition is endemic in developing countries. Most individuals lack diverse diets and are therefore exposed to nutrient deficiencies. Plant biotechnology could play a major role in combating malnutrition through the engineering of nutritionally enhanced crops. In this article, we discuss different approaches that can enhance the nutritional content of staple crops by genetic engineering (GE) as well as the functionality and safety assessments required before nutritionally enhanced GE crops can be deployed in the field. We also consider major constraints that hinder the adoption of GE technology at different levels and suggest policies that could be adopted to accelerate the deployment of nutritionally enhanced GE crops within a multicomponent strategy to combat malnutrition.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12263-012-0315-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Transgenic crops; Micronutrients; Food security; Vitamins; Minerals; Genetic engineering
Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have become a very important tool to address the genetic origin of phenotypic variability, in particular associated with diseases. Nevertheless, these types of studies provide limited information about disease etiology and the molecular mechanisms involved. Recently, the incorporation of metabolomics into the analysis has offered novel opportunities for a better understanding of disease-related metabolic deregulation. The pattern emerging from this work is that gene-driven changes in metabolism are prevalent and that common genetic variations can have a profound impact on the homeostatic concentrations of specific metabolites. A particularly interesting aspect of this work takes into account interactions of environment and lifestyle with the genome and how this interaction translates into changes in the metabolome. For instance, the role of PYROXD2 in trimethylamine metabolism points to an interaction between host and microbiome genomes (host/microbiota). Often, these findings reveal metabolic deregulations, which could eventually be tuned with a nutritional intervention. Here we review the development of gene–metabolism association studies from a single-gene/single-metabolite to a genome-wide/metabolome-wide approach and highlight the conceptual changes associated with this ongoing transition. Moreover, we report some of our recent GWAS results on a cohort of 265 individuals from an ethnically diverse population that validate and refine previous findings on gene–urine metabolism interactions. Specifically, our results confirm the effect of PYROXD2 polymorphisms on trimethylamine metabolism and suggest that a previously reported association of N-acetylated compounds with the ALMS1/NAT8 locus is driven by SNPs in the ALMS1 gene.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12263-012-0313-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Metabolome wide associations; Genome wide associations; Metabolomics; Nutrition
In this work, the effect of rosemary extracts rich on polyphenols obtained using pressurized fluids was investigated on the gene expression of human SW480 and HT29 colon cancer cells. The application of transcriptomic profiling and functional enrichment analysis was done via two computational approaches, Ingenuity Pathway Analysis and Gene Set Enrichment Analysis. These two approaches were used for functional enrichment analysis as a previous step for a reliable interpretation of the data obtained from microarray analysis. Reverse transcription quantitative-PCR was used to confirm relative changes in mRNA levels of selected genes from microarrays. The selection of genes was based on their expression change, adjusted p value, and known biological function. According to genome-wide transcriptomics analysis, rosemary polyphenols altered the expression of ~4 % of the genes covered by the Affymetrix Human Gene 1.0ST chip in both colon cancer cells. However, only ~18 % of the differentially expressed genes were common to both cell lines, indicating markedly different expression profiles in response to the treatment. Differences in induction of G2/M arrest observed by rosemary polyphenols in the two colon adenocarcinoma cell lines suggest that the extract may be differentially effective against tumors with specific mutational pattern. From our results, it is also concluded that rosemary polyphenols induced a low degree of apoptosis indicating that other multiple signaling pathways may contribute to colon cancer cell death.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12263-012-0311-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Colon cancer; Dietary polyphenols; Microarray; Nutrigenomics; Transcriptomics
Genetic factors may interact with lifestyle factors to modify obesity risk. FTO and PPARG2 are relevant obesogenes. Our aim was to explore the effect of Pro12Ala (rs1801282) of PPARG2 and rs9939609 of FTO on obesity risk and to examine their interaction with lifestyle factors in an elderly population. Subjects (n = 978; aged 69 ± 6) were recruited from the SUN (Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra) Project. DNA was obtained from saliva, and lifestyle and dietary data were collected by validated self-reported questionnaires. Genotyping was assessed by RT-PCR plus allele discrimination. Subjects carrying the Ala allele of PPARG2 gene had a significantly increased obesity risk compared to non-carrier (Pro12Pro) subjects (OR, 1.66; 95 % CI, 1.01–2.74; p = 0.045). Greater obesity risk was also found in inactive or high carbohydrate intake subjects with the Ala12 allele of PPARG2 gene. Interestingly, subjects carrying the Ala allele of the PPARG2 gene and with a high CHO (>246 g/day) intake had an increased obesity risk compared to Pro12Pro subjects (OR, 2.67; 95 % CI, 1.3–5.46; p = 0.007; p for [CHO × PPARG2] interaction = 0.046). Moreover, in subjects with a high CHO intake, the co-presence of the Ala allele of PPARG2 gene and one minor A allele (rs9939609) of FTO gene did increase obesity risk (OR, 3.26; 95 % CI, 1.19–8.89; p = 0.021) when compared to non-carrier (Pro12Pro/TT) subjects. In conclusion, it appears that lifestyle factors may act as effect modifiers for obesity risk linked to Ala12 allele of the PPARG2 gene and the minor A allele of FTO gene in an elderly population.
PPARG2; Pro12ala; FTO; rs9939609; Obesity risk
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the first hepatic manifestations of metabolic syndrome, whose progression can lead to cirrhosis and hepatic carcinoma. Interestingly, methyl donor supplementation could improve obesogenic diet-induced hepatic triglyceride accumulation. The aim of this research is to describe methyl donor effects on a high-fat-sucrose (HFS) diet in both sexes and epigenetic changes induced on fatty acid synthase (FASN) promoter methylation pattern as well as gene expression of NAFLD key metabolic genes. Twenty-four male and 28 female Wistar rats were assigned to three dietary groups: control, HFS, and HFS supplemented with methyl donors (choline, betaine, vitamin B12, and folic acid). After 8 weeks of treatment, somatic, biochemical, mRNA, and epigenetic measurements were performed. Rats fed the HFS diet presented an overweight phenotype and alterations in plasma biochemical measurements. Methyl donor supplementation reverted the HFS-diet-induced hepatic triglyceride accumulation. Analysis of FASN promoter cytosine methylation showed changes in both sexes due to the obesogenic diet at −1,096, −780, −778, and −774 CpG sites with respect to the transcriptional start site. Methyl donor supplementation modified DNA methylation at −852, −833, −829, −743, and −733 CpGs depending on the sex. RT-PCR analysis confirmed that FASN expression tended to be altered in males. Our findings reinforce the hypothesis that methyl donor supplementation can prevent hepatic triglyceride accumulation induced by obesogenic diets in both sexes. Changes in liver gene expression profile and epigenetic-mediated mechanisms related to FASN DNA hypermethylation could be involved in methyl donor-induced NAFLD improvement.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12263-012-0300-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Obesity; NAFLD; DNA methylation; High-fat-sucrose diet
Insulin resistance in skeletal muscle is an early phenomenon in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes. Muscle is mainly responsible for insulin-stimulated glucose clearance from the bloodstream. Thus, regulation of gene expression in muscle tissue may be involved in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance. The objective was to investigate gene expression and metabolic pathways alterations in skeletal muscle tissue following an euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp in obese insulin-resistant subjects. We carried out a transcriptome comparison of skeletal muscle tissue before and after a 3-h euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp following 8-week supplementation with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) (1.8 g/day) with or without a supplement of fish gelatin (FG) (25 % of daily protein intake) in 16 obese insulin-resistant subjects. Results indicate that approximately 5 % (1932) of expressed transcripts were significantly changed after the clamp in both n-3 PUFA and n-3 PUFA + FG supplementation periods. Of these differentially expressed transcripts, 1394 genes associated with enzymes, transcription and translation regulators, transporters, G protein-coupled receptors, cytokines, and ligand-dependent nuclear receptors were modified. Metabolic pathways that were significantly modified included liver X receptor/retinoid X receptors (RXR) activation, vitamin D receptor/RXR activation, interleukin (IL)-8, acute phase response, IL10, triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 1, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor, G-beta/gamma and hepatocyte growth factor and IL6 signaling. Taken together, results suggest that mainly inflammatory and transcription factors are modified following clamp in obese insulin-resistant subjects. Overall, understanding the changes in metabolic pathways due to insulin may be a potential target for the management of insulin resistance.
Diabetes; Obesity; Microarray; Gene expression; Metabolic pathways
The satiating effect of fibre consumption has been related to gut hormones, such as peptide YY and leptin. These peptides may also influence cardiovascular (CVD) risk biomarkers. Nevertheless, there is wide interindividual variation in metabolic responses to fibre consumption. The objective was to investigate differences in the effects of soluble fibre, in the form of Plantago ovata husk (Po-husk) treatment, on CVD risk biomarkers according to selected polymorphisms in genes related to satiety. The study was a multi-centred, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel and randomised trial in mild–moderate hypercholesterolaemic patients (age range: 43–67 years). Eight polymorphisms in three genes related to satiety (LEP, NPY and PYY) were identified in 178 participants; 88 patients in the placebo (microcrystalline cellulose 14 g/day) group and 90 in the Po-husk (14 g/day) group, which had added to a low-saturated-fat diet for 8 weeks. The CVD biomarkers measured included the following: lipid profile, blood pressure (BP), glucose, insulin, hs-CRP, oxidised LDL and IL-6. Relative to the placebo, Po-husk consumption lowered the plasma total cholesterol concentration by 3.3 % according to rs7799039 polymorphism in the LEP gene (p < 0.05). Furthermore, the Po-husk reduced systolic BP (mean [95 % CI]) by −8 mmHg (−14.16; −1.90) and hs-CRP by 24.9 % in subjects with the AA genotype of the rs16147 polymorphism in the NPY gene (32 % of our total population; p < 0.05), which remained significant after Bonferroni correction. In conclusion, polymorphisms in the LEP and NPY genes potentiate the response to Po-husk, particularly the effects on systolic BP and the hs-CRP plasma concentration.
Anorexigenic peptides; Cardiovascular disease; Fibre; Polymorphisms
In the past 20 years, the scientific community has faced a great development in different fields due to the development of high-throughput, omics technologies. Starting from the four major types of omics measurements (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics), a variety of omics subdisciplines (epigenomics, lipidomics, interactomics, metallomics, diseasomics, etc.) has emerged. Thanks to the omics approach, researchers are now facing the possibility of connecting food components, foods, the diet, the individual, the health, and the diseases, but this broad vision needs not only the application of advanced technologies, but mainly the ability of looking at the problem with a different approach, a “foodomics approach”. Foodomics is the comprehensive, high-throughput approach for the exploitation of food science in the light of an improvement of human nutrition. Foodomics is a new approach to food and nutrition that studies the food domain as a whole with the nutrition domain to reach the main objective, the optimization of human health and well-being.
Foodomics; Omics technologies; Food science; Human nutrition
Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in women. Diet and lifestyle are major contributing factors to increased breast cancer risk. While mechanisms underlying dietary protection of mammary tumor formation are increasingly elucidated, there remains a dearth of knowledge on the nature and precise actions of specific bioactive components present in foods with purported health effects. The 43-amino acid peptide lunasin (LUN) is found in soybeans, is bioavailable similar to the isoflavone genistein (GEN), and thus may mediate the beneficial effects of soy food consumption. Here, we evaluated whether LUN displays common and distinct actions from those of GEN in non-malignant (mouse HC11) and malignant (human MCF-7) mammary epithelial cells. In MCF-7 cells, LUN up-regulated tumor suppressor phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted in chromosome ten (PTEN) promoter activity, increased PTEN transcript and protein levels and enhanced nuclear PTEN localization, similar to that shown for GEN in mammary epithelial cells. LUN-induced cellular apoptosis, akin to GEN, was mediated by PTEN, but unlike that for GEN, was p53-independent. LUN promoted E-cadherin and β-catenin non-nuclear localization similar to GEN, but unlike GEN, did not influence the proliferative effects of oncogene Wnt1 on HC11 cells. Further, LUN did not recapitulate GEN inhibitory effects on expansion of the cancer stem-like/progenitor population in MCF-7 cells. Results suggest the concerted actions of GEN and LUN on cellular apoptosis for potential mammary tumor preventive effects and highlight whole food consumption rather than intake of specific dietary supplements with limited biological effects for greater health benefits.
Lunasin; Genistein; Soy; Apoptosis; PTEN; Mammary epithelial; Breast cancer
A high-fat diet (HFD) has been recognized as a risk factor for diseases such as dyslipidemia, atherosclerosis, obesity, and osteoporosis. However, studies analyzing gene expression after HFD in bone are rare. That prompted us to analyze the expression of selected genes in bone of 4-week-old diabetes-prone B(io)B(reeding) rats. Two breeding pairs were fed a HFD (+10 % tallow) or were fed a normal diet (ND; Ssniff R-Z) before mating and afterward during pregnancy. After the birth of progeny, parents continued to be given HFD or ND until the progeny was weaned (3 weeks). Thereafter, offspring were weaned and were fed the same food as their parents up to an age of 4 weeks. Body weight was measured at an age of 4 weeks, and subsequently 13 HFD rats and 13 ND rats were killed and the tibial bone was harvested to analyze the expression of 53 genes in bone. All rats fed HFD were significantly heavier than rats fed ND after 3 and 4 weeks. The diet also influenced the expression of genes in bone. There were significant differences in 20 out of 53 genes studied between rats fed HFD compared with rats fed ND. Four out of 20 had a lower and 17 out of 20 genes a higher expression in HFD rats, but differences in gene expression showed obvious differences between males and females. There were only two genes that were similarly different between males and females: Bmp4 and Atf4. Two genes, Foxg1 and Npy, were inversely expressed in males and females. It seems that the gene expression is differently regulated by diet during pregnancy and later in life between males and females. Nevertheless, it cannot be excluded that HFD also acts as an epigenetic factor in the development of offspring in utero.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12263-012-0299-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Weight gain; Obesity; Osteoporosis; Gene expression; Bone
Fatty liver is associated with obesity and breast cancer. We used an obese rat model of mammary cancer to examine whether hepatosteatosis is modifiable by diet and associated with altered expression of hepatic lipogenic enzyme genes, thyroid hormone system genes and cholesterol metabolism-related genes. Beginning at the age of 5 weeks, lean and obese female Zucker rats were fed high-isoflavone soy protein- or casein (control protein)-containing diets. Rats were euthanized at 200 days of age [corresponding to 147 days after administration of carcinogen to induce mammary tumors; (Hakkak et al. in, Oncol Lett 2:29–36, 2011)]. Obese rats had a greater degree of liver steatosis than lean rats. Obese casein-fed rats had marked steatosis with small foci of mononuclear infiltration, whereas obese soy protein-fed rats had a significantly lower steatosis index. Comparisons between lean and obese casein-fed rats showed that obesity was associated with significant reductions in hepatic mRNA abundance for Glucose 6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (G6PD), 6-Phosphogluconate Dehydrogenase (6PGD), Thyroid Receptor Alpha 1 (TRα1), Thyroid Receptor Beta 1 (TRβ1) and Iodothyronine Deiodinase 1 (DIO1). The soy protein diet was associated with increased expression of Fatty Acid Synthase (FASN), Malic Enzyme 1 (ME1), 6PGD, Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Protein-1c (SREBP-1c) and SREBP-2 genes in the livers of obese but not lean rats. Western blot analysis showed a significant induction of ME1 protein expression in the livers of obese, soy protein-fed rats, which paralleled the increased serum insulin level in this group. Long-term soy protein consumption can counter hepatic steatosis while coincidently promoting hepatic lipogenic gene expression, the latter likely a consequence of elevated serum insulin. We suggest that elevations in serum insulin, hepatic lipogenesis and cholesterol synthesis all contributed to the increased tumorigenesis previously observed for the obese, soy protein-fed rats.
Soy; Rats; Fatty acid synthase; Malic enzyme 1; Steatosis; Insulin; NAFLD