aromatic amino acids
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2022 ◽  
Andrew V Stachulski ◽  
Tobias B-A Knausenberger ◽  
Sita N Shah ◽  
Lesley Hoyles ◽  
Simon McArthur

Purpose: The sequential activity of gut microbial and host processes can exert a powerful modulatory influence on dietary components, as exemplified by the metabolism of the amino acids tyrosine and phenylalanine to p-cresol by gut microbes, and then to p-cresol glucuronide (pCG) by host enzymes. Although such glucuronide conjugates are classically thought to be biologically inert, there is accumulating evidence that this may not always be the case. We investigated the activity of pCG, studying its interactions with the cerebral vasculature and the brain in vitro and in vivo. Methods: Male C57Bl/6J mice were used to assess blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability and whole brain transcriptomic changes in response to pCG treatment. Effects were then further explored using the human cerebromicrovascular endothelial cell line hCMEC/D3, assessing paracellular permeability, transendothelial electrical resistance and barrier protein expression. Results: Mice exposed to pCG showed reduced BBB permeability and significant changes in whole brain transcriptome expression. Surprisingly, treatment of hCMEC/D3 cells with pCG had no notable effects until co-administered with bacterial lipopolysaccharide, at which point it was able to prevent the permeabilising effects of endotoxin. Further analysis suggested that pCG acts as an antagonist at the principal lipopolysaccharide receptor TLR4. Conclusion: The amino acid phase II metabolic product pCG is biologically active at the BBB, highlighting the complexity of gut microbe to host communication and the gut-brain axis.

2022 ◽  
Darian Yang ◽  
Angela Gronenborn ◽  
Lillian Chong

We developed force field parameters for fluorinated aromatic amino acids enabling molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of fluorinated proteins. These parameters are tailored to the AMBER ff15ipq protein force field and enable the modeling of 4, 5, 6, and 7F-tryptophan, 3F- and 3,5F-tyrosine, and 4F- or 4-CF3-phenylalanine. The parameters include 181 unique atomic charges derived using the Implicitly Polarized Charge (IPolQ) scheme in the presence of SPC/Eb explicit water molecules and 9 unique bond, angle, or torsion terms. Our simulations of benchmark peptides and proteins maintain expected conformational propensities on the μs-timescale. In addition, we have developed an open-source Python program to calculate fluorine relaxation rates from MD simulations. The extracted relaxation rates from protein simulations are in good agreement with experimental values determined by 19F NMR. Collectively, our results illustrate the power and robustness of the IPolQ lineage of force fields for modeling structure and dynamics of fluorine containing proteins at the atomic level.

Biology ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 11 (1) ◽  
pp. 86
Songwei Wang ◽  
Dongliang Liu ◽  
Muhammad Bilal ◽  
Wei Wang ◽  
Xuehong Zhang

DAHP synthase catalyzes the first step in the shikimate pathway, deriving the biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids (Trp, Phe and Tyr), phenazine-1-carboxamide, folic acid, and ubiquinone in Pseudomonas chlororaphis. In this study, we identified and characterized one DAHP synthase encoding gene phzC, which differs from the reported DAHP synthase encoding genes aroF, aroG and aroH in E. coli. PhzC accounts for approximately 90% of the total DAHP synthase activities in P. chlororaphis HT66 and plays the most critical role in four DAHP synthases in the shikimate pathway. Inactivation of phzC resulted in the reduction of PCN production by more than 90%, while the absence of genes aroF, aroG and aroH reduced PCN yield by less than 15%, and the production of PCN was restored after the complementation of gene phzC. Moreover, the results showed that phzC in P. chlororaphis HT66 is not sensitive to feedback inhibition. This study demonstrated that gene phzC is essential for PCN biosynthesis. The expression level of both phzC and phzE genes are not inhibited in feedback by PCN production due to the absence of a loop region required for allosteric control reaction. This study highlighted the importance of PhzC and applying P. chlororaphis for shikimate pathway-derived high-value biological production.

2022 ◽  
BeiBei GAO ◽  
Qiong SHEN ◽  
Ying WU ◽  
MengDie CAO ◽  
QiWu ZHANG ◽  

Abstract AimsSerum branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) and aromatic amino acids (AAAs) are associated with obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). We want to investigate the levels of these amino acids in women with GDM and subsequently examine their changes in response to an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Methods43 GDMs and 67 non-GDMs during their second trimester were recruited in this study. A 75-g OGTT was administered, and fasting, 1-h, and 2-h blood samples were obtained. Serum BCAA and AAA levels were measured by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.ResultsThe differences of BCAAs and AAAs between women with GDM and controls during their second trimester were not evident during fasting, while became significant after a 75-g glucose load. Glucose ingestion decreased the levels of BCAAs and AAAs in both groups. Notably, GDMs showed a delayed and blunted decrease of these amino acids compared to non-GDMs. The risks of 2-h change of BCAAs and AAAs for GDM were significant.ConclusionsWe identified that the differences of BCAAs and AAAs between women with GDM and controls during their second trimester, which were not evident during fasting, could be provoked by performing OGTT.

2022 ◽  
Vol 8 ◽  
Suzeeta Bhandari ◽  
Kirpal S. Bisht ◽  
David J. Merkler

The fatty acid amides are a family of lipids composed of two chemical moieties, a fatty acid and a biogenic amine linked together in an amide bond. This lipid family is structurally related to the endocannabinoid anandamide (N-arachidonoylethanolamine) and, thus, is frequently referred to as a family of endocannabinoid-related lipids. The fatty acid amide family is divided into different classes based on the conjugate amine; anandamide being a member of the N-acylethanolamine class (NAE). Another class within the fatty acid amide family is the N-acyl amino acids (NA-AAs). The focus of this review is a sub-class of the NA-AAs, the N-acyl aromatic amino acids (NA-ArAAs). The NA-ArAAs are not broadly recognized, even by those interested in the endocannabinoids and endocannabinoid-related lipids. Herein, the NA-ArAAs that have been identified from a biological source will be highlighted and pathways for their biosynthesis, degradation, enzymatic modification, and transport will be presented. Also, information about the cellular functions of the NA-ArAAs will be placed in context with the data regarding the identification and metabolism of these N-acylated amino acids. A review of the current state-of-knowledge about the NA-ArAAs is to stimulate future research about this underappreciated sub-class of the fatty acid amide family.

Metabolites ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
pp. 21
Theodosia Vallianatou ◽  
Nicholas B. Bèchet ◽  
Mario S. P. Correia ◽  
Iben Lundgaard ◽  
Daniel Globisch

Sleep is a state in which important restorative and anabolic processes occur. Understanding changes of these metabolic processes during the circadian rhythm in the brain is crucial to elucidate neurophysiological mechanisms important for sleep function. Investigation of amino acid modifications and dipeptides has recently emerged as a valuable approach in the metabolic profiling of the central nervous system. Nonetheless, very little is known about the effects of sleep on the brain levels of amino acid analogues. In the present study, we examined brain regional sleep-induced alterations selective for modified amino acids and dipeptides using UPLC-MS/MS based metabolomics. Our approach enabled the detection and identification of numerous amino acid-containing metabolites in the cortex, the hippocampus, the midbrain, and the cerebellum. In particular, analogues of the aromatic amino acids phenylalanine, tyrosine and tryptophan were significantly altered during sleep in the investigated brain regions. Cortical levels of medium and long chain N-acyl glycines were higher during sleep. Regional specific changes were also detected, especially related to tyrosine analogues in the hippocampus and the cerebellum. Our findings demonstrate a strong correlation between circadian rhythms and amino acid metabolism specific for different brain regions that provide previously unknown insights in brain metabolism.

2021 ◽  
Vol 9 (3) ◽  
Mario Alejandro Duque-Villegas ◽  
Bruno Lopes Abbadi ◽  
Paulo Ricardo Romero ◽  
Letícia Beatriz Matter ◽  
Luiza Galina ◽  

We found that cells from Mycobacterium smegmatis , a model organism safer and easier to study than the disease-causing mycobacterial species, when depleted of an enzyme from the shikimate pathway, are auxotrophic for the three aromatic amino acids (AroAAs) that serve as building blocks of cellular proteins: l- tryptophan, l -phenylalanine, and l -tyrosine. That supplementation with only AroAAs is sufficient to rescue viable cells with the shikimate pathway inactivated was unexpected, since this pathway produces an end product, chorismate, that is the starting compound of essential pathways other than the ones that produce AroAAs.

2021 ◽  
Vol 8 ◽  
Pegah Bagheri ◽  
Khang Hoang ◽  
Anthony A. Fung ◽  
Sahran Hussain ◽  
Lingyan Shi

Oxidative imbalance plays an essential role in the progression of many diseases that include cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Aromatic amino acids (AAA) such as phenylalanine and tryptophan have the capability of escalating oxidative stress because of their involvement in the production of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). Here, we use D2O (heavy water) probed stimulated Raman scattering microscopy (DO-SRS) and two Photon Excitation Fluorescence (2PEF) microscopy as a multimodal imaging approach to visualize metabolic changes in HeLa cells under excess AAA such as phenylalanine or trytophan in culture media. The cellular spatial distribution of de novo lipogenesis, new protein synthesis, NADH, Flavin, unsaturated lipids, and saturated lipids were all imaged and quantified in this experiment. Our studies reveal ∼10% increase in de novo lipogenesis and the ratio of NADH to flavin, and ∼50% increase of the ratio of unsaturated lipids to saturated lipid in cells treated with excess phenylalanine or trytophan. In contrast, these cells exhibited a decrease in the protein synthesis rate by ∼10% under these AAA treatments. The cellular metabolic activities of these biomolecules are indicators of elevated oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction. Furthermore, 3D reconstruction images of lipid droplets were acquired and quantified to observe their spatial distribution around cells’ nuceli under different AAA culture media. We observed a higher number of lipid droplets in excess AAA conditions. Our study showcases that DO-SRS imaging can be used to quantitatively study how excess AAA regulates metabolic activities of cells with subcellular resolution in situ.

Kohsuke Kanekura ◽  
Yuhei Hayamizu ◽  
Masahiko Kuroda

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) have been thought as two distinct neurodegenerative diseases. However, recent genetic screening and careful investigations found the genetic and pathological overlap among these disorders. Hexanucleotide expansions in intron 1 of C9orf72 are a leading cause of familial ALS and familial FTD. These expansions facilitate the repeat-associated non-ATG initiated translation (RAN translation), producing five dipeptide repeat proteins (DRPs), including Arg-rich poly(PR: Pro-Arg) and poly-(GR: Gly-Arg) peptides. Arg is a positively charged, highly polar amino acid that facilitates interactions with anionic molecules such as nucleic acids and acidic amino acids via electrostatic forces and aromatic amino acids via cation-pi interaction, suggesting that Arg-rich DRPs underlie the pathophysiology of ALS via Arg-mediated molecular interactions. Arg-rich DRPs have also been reported to induce neurodegeneration in cellular and animal models via multiple mechanisms; however, it remains unclear why the Arg-rich DRPs exhibit such diverse toxic properties, because not all Arg-rich peptides are toxic. In this mini-review, we discuss the current understanding of the pathophysiology of Arg-rich C9orf72 DRPs and introduce recent findings on the role of Arg distribution as a determinant of the toxicity and its contribution to the pathogenesis of ALS.

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