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1.  Transcriptomic Identification of ADH1B as a Novel Candidate Gene for Obesity and Insulin Resistance in Human Adipose Tissue in Mexican Americans from the Veterans Administration Genetic Epidemiology Study (VAGES) 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(4):e0119941.
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a complex metabolic disease that is more prevalent in ethnic groups such as Mexican Americans, and is strongly associated with the risk factors obesity and insulin resistance. The goal of this study was to perform whole genome gene expression profiling in adipose tissue to detect common patterns of gene regulation associated with obesity and insulin resistance. We used phenotypic and genotypic data from 308 Mexican American participants from the Veterans Administration Genetic Epidemiology Study (VAGES). Basal fasting RNA was extracted from adipose tissue biopsies from a subset of 75 unrelated individuals, and gene expression data generated on the Illumina BeadArray platform. The number of gene probes with significant expression above baseline was approximately 31,000. We performed multiple regression analysis of all probes with 15 metabolic traits. Adipose tissue had 3,012 genes significantly associated with the traits of interest (false discovery rate, FDR ≤ 0.05). The significance of gene expression changes was used to select 52 genes with significant (FDR ≤ 10-4) gene expression changes across multiple traits. Gene sets/Pathways analysis identified one gene, alcohol dehydrogenase 1B (ADH1B) that was significantly enriched (P < 10-60) as a prime candidate for involvement in multiple relevant metabolic pathways. Illumina BeadChip derived ADH1B expression data was consistent with quantitative real time PCR data. We observed significant inverse correlations with waist circumference (2.8 x 10-9), BMI (5.4 x 10-6), and fasting plasma insulin (P < 0.001). These findings are consistent with a central role for ADH1B in obesity and insulin resistance and provide evidence for a novel genetic regulatory mechanism for human metabolic diseases related to these traits.
PMCID: PMC4382323  PMID: 25830378
2.  Coordinated Defects in Hepatic Long Chain Fatty Acid Metabolism and Triglyceride Accumulation Contribute to Insulin Resistance in Non-Human Primates 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(11):e27617.
Non-Alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is characterized by accumulation of triglycerides (TG) in hepatocytes, which may also trigger cirrhosis. The mechanisms of NAFLD are not fully understood, but insulin resistance has been proposed as a key determinant.
To determine the TG content and long chain fatty acyl CoA composition profile in liver from obese non-diabetic insulin resistant (IR) and lean insulin sensitive (IS) baboons in relation with hepatic and peripheral insulin sensitivity.
Twenty baboons with varying grades of adiposity were studied. Hepatic (liver) and peripheral (mainly muscle) insulin sensitivity was measured with a euglycemic clamp and QUICKI. Liver biopsies were performed at baseline for TG content and LCFA profile by mass spectrometry, and histological analysis. Findings were correlated with clinical and biochemical markers of adiposity and insulin resistance.
Obese IR baboons had elevated liver TG content compared to IS. Furthermore, the concentration of unsaturated (LC-UFA) was greater than saturated (LC-SFA) fatty acyl CoA in the liver. Interestingly, LC-FA UFA and SFA correlated with waist, BMI, insulin, NEFA, TG, QUICKI, but not M/I. Histological findings of NAFLD ranging from focal to diffuse hepatic steatosis were found in obese IR baboons.
Liver TG content is closely related with both hepatic and peripheral IR, whereas liver LC-UFA and LC-SFA are closely related only with hepatic IR in non-human primates. Mechanisms leading to the accumulation of TG, LC-UFA and an altered UFA: LC-SFA ratio may play an important role in the pathophysiology of fatty liver disease in humans.
PMCID: PMC3220682  PMID: 22125617
3.  Proteomics Reveals Novel Oxidative and Glycolytic Mechanisms in Type 1 Diabetic Patients' Skin Which Are Normalized by Kidney-Pancreas Transplantation 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(3):e9923.
In type 1 diabetes (T1D) vascular complications such as accelerated atherosclerosis and diffused macro-/microangiopathy are linked to chronic hyperglycemia with a mechanism that is not yet well understood. End-stage renal disease (ESRD) worsens most diabetic complications, particularly, the risk of morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease is increased several fold.
Methods and Findings
We evaluated protein regulation and expression in skin biopsies obtained from T1D patients with and without ESRD, to identify pathways of persistent cellular changes linked to diabetic vascular disease. We therefore examined pathways that may be normalized by restoration of normoglycemia with kidney-pancreas (KP) transplantation. Using proteomic and ultrastructural approaches, multiple alterations in the expression of proteins involved in oxidative stress (catalase, superoxide dismutase 1, Hsp27, Hsp60, ATP synthase δ chain, and flavin reductase), aerobic and anaerobic glycolysis (ACBP, pyruvate kinase muscle isozyme, and phosphoglycerate kinase 1), and intracellular signaling (stratifin-14-3-3, S100-calcyclin, cathepsin, and PPI rotamase) as well as endothelial vascular abnormalities were identified in T1D and T1D+ESRD patients. These abnormalities were reversed after KP transplant. Increased plasma levels of malondialdehyde were observed in T1D and T1D+ESRD patients, confirming increased oxidative stress which was normalized after KP transplant.
Our data suggests persistent cellular changes of anti-oxidative machinery and of aerobic/anaerobic glycolysis are present in T1D and T1D+ESRD patients, and these abnormalities may play a key role in the pathogenesis of hyperglycemia-related vascular complications. Restoration of normoglycemia and removal of uremia with KP transplant can correct these abnormalities. Some of these identified pathways may become potential therapeutic targets for a new generation of drugs.
PMCID: PMC2848014  PMID: 20360867

Results 1-3 (3)