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Cellular mitochondrial function has been suggested to contribute to variation in feed efficiency (FE) among animals. The objective of this study was to determine mitochondrial abundance and activities of various mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes (complex I (CI) to complex IV (CIV)) in liver and muscle tissue from beef cattle phenotypically divergent for residual feed intake (RFI), a measure of FE. Individual DM intake (DMI) and growth were measured in purebred Simmental heifers (n = 24) and bulls (n = 28) with an initial mean BW (SD) of 372 kg (39.6) and 387 kg (50.6), respectively. All animals were offered concentrates ad libitum and 3 kg of grass silage daily, and feed intake was recorded for 70 days. Residuals of the regression of DMI on average daily gain (ADG), mid-test BW0.75 and backfat (BF), using all animals, were used to compute individual RFI coefficients. Animals were ranked within sex, by RFI into high (inefficient; top third of the population), medium (middle third of population) and low (efficient; bottom third of the population) terciles. Statistical analysis was carried out using the MIXED procedure of SAS v 9.3. Overall mean ADG (SD) and daily DMI (SD) for heifers were 1.2 (0.4) and 9.1 (0.5) kg, respectively, and for bulls were 1.8 (0.3) and 9.5 (1.02) kg, respectively. Heifers and bulls ranked as high RFI consumed 10% and 15% more (P < 0.05), respectively, than their low RFI counterparts. There was no effect of RFI on mitochondrial abundance in either liver or muscle (P > 0.05). An RFI × sex interaction was apparent for CI activity in muscle. High RFI animals had an increased activity (P < 0.05) of CIV in liver tissue compared to their low RFI counterparts; however, the relevance of that observation is not clear. Our data provide no clear evidence that cellular mitochondrial function within either skeletal muscle or hepatic tissue has an appreciable contributory role to overall variation in FE among beef cattle.
Mitochondria play an important role in a number of fundamental cellular processes, including energy production, biosynthetic pathways and cellular oxidoreductive homeostasis (redox status), and their dysfunction can lead to numerous pathophysiological consequences. As the biochemical mechanisms orchestrating mitochondrial metabolism and redox homeostasis are functionally linked, mitochondria have been identified as a potential therapeutic target. Consequently, considerable effort has been made to evaluate the efficacy of natural compounds that modulate mitochondrial function. Molecules produced by plants (for example, polyphenols and isothiocyanates) have been shown to modulate mitochondrial metabolism/biogenesis and redox status; however, despite the existence of a functional link, few studies have considered the combined efficacy of these mitochondrial functions. The present review provides a complete overview of the molecular pathways involved in modulating mitochondrial metabolism/biogenesis and redox status. Crosstalk between these critical mechanisms is also discussed, whilst major data from the literature regarding their antioxidant abilities are described and critically analysed. We also provide a summary of recent evidence regarding the ability of several plant-derived compounds to target these mitochondrial functions. An in-depth understanding of the functional link between mitochondrial metabolism/biogenesis and redox status could facilitate the analysis of the biological effects of natural compounds as well as the development of new therapeutic approaches.
The wheat bZip transcription factor TaABF1 mediates both abscisic acid (ABA)-induced and ABA-suppressed gene expression. As levels of TaABF1 protein do not change in response to ABA, and TaABF1 is in a phosphorylated state in vivo, we investigated whether TaABF1 could be regulated at the post-translational level. In bombarded aleurone cells, a TaABF1 protein carrying phosphomimetic mutations (serine to aspartate) at four sites (S36D, S37D, S113D, S115D) was three to five times more potent than wild-type TaABF1 in activating HVA1, an ABA-responsive gene. The phosphomimetic mutations also increased the ability of TaABF1 to downregulate the ABA-suppressed gene Amy32b. These findings strongly suggest that phosphorylation at these sites increases the transcriptional regulatory activity of TaABF1. In contrast to the activation observed by the quadruple serine to aspartate mutation, a single S113D mutation completely eliminated the ability of TaABF1 to upregulate HVA1 or downregulate Amy32b. Thus phosphorylation of TaABF1 can either stimulate or inhibit the activity of TaABF1 in regulating downstream genes, depending on the site and pattern of phosphorylation. Mutation of S318 and S322 (in the bZIP domain) eliminated the ability of TaABF1 to activate HVA1, but had no effect on the ability of TaABF1 to downregulate Amy32b, suggesting that TaABF1 represses Amy32b expression through a mechanism other than direct DNA binding. An important step towards understanding how ABA and gibberellin (GA) signals are integrated through TaABF1 phosphorylation to regulate downstream gene expression is to clarify the effects of those hormones on the expression of specific genes. In contrast to some other ABA-induced genes, we found that HVA1 induction by ABA or TaABF1 is not inhibited by GA.
Dietary intake and nutritional status is an important environmental factor which can modulate metabolic-inflammation. In recent years, research has made significant advances in terms of understanding the impact of dietary components on metabolic-inflammation, within the context of obesity, type-2 diabetes (T2D) and CVD risk. Our work demonstrated that different fatty acids differentially modulate metabolic-inflammation, initially focusing on Nod-like receptor family, pyrin domain-containing three protein (NLRP3) inflammasome mediated IL-1β biology and insulin signalling. However, the paradigm is more complex, wherein data from the immunology field clearly show that nature of cellular energy metabolism is a key determinant of inflammation. Whilst metabolic-inflammation is a critical biological interaction, there is a paucity of data in relation to the nature and the extent to which nutritional status affects metabolic-inflammation. The complex paradigm will be discussed within the context of if/how dietary components, in particular fatty acids, may modulate obesity, T2D and CVD risk, via inflammatory and metabolic processes.
Integrins are large heterodimeric type 1 membrane proteins expressed in all nucleated mammalian cells. Eighteen α-chains and eight β-chains can combine to form 24 different integrins. They are cell adhesion proteins, which bind to a large variety of cellular and extracellular ligands. Integrins are required for cell migration, hemostasis, translocation of cells out from the blood stream and further movement into tissues, but also for the immune response and tissue morphogenesis. Importantly, integrins are not usually active as such, but need activation to become adhesive. Integrins are activated by outside-in activation through integrin ligand binding, or by inside-out activation through intracellular signaling. An important question is how integrin activity is regulated, and this topic has recently drawn much attention. Changes in integrin affinity for ligand binding are due to allosteric structural alterations, but equally important are avidity changes due to integrin clustering in the plane of the plasma membrane. Recent studies have partially solved how integrin cell surface structures change during activation. The integrin cytoplasmic domains are relatively short, but by interacting with a variety of cytoplasmic proteins in a regulated manner, the integrins acquire a number of properties important not only for cell adhesion and movement, but also for cellular signaling. Recent work has shown that specific integrin phosphorylations play pivotal roles in the regulation of integrin activity. Our purpose in this review is to integrate the present knowledge to enable an understanding of how cell adhesion is dynamically regulated.
Kemptide (sequence: LRRASLG) is a synthetic peptide holding the consensus recognition site for the catalytic subunit of the cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA). cAMP-independent protein kinases that phosphorylate kemptide were stimulated in Trypanosoma equiperdum following glucose deprivation. An enriched kemptide kinase-containing fraction was isolated from glucose-starved parasites using sedimentation throughout a sucrose gradient, followed by sequential chromatography on diethylaminoethyl-Sepharose and Sephacryl S-300. The trypanosome protein possesses a molecular mass of 39.07–51.73 kDa, a Stokes radius of 27.4 Ǻ, a sedimentation coefficient of 4.06 S and a globular shape with a frictional ratio f/fo = 1.22–1.25. Optimal enzymatic activity was achieved at 37 °C and pH 8.0, and kinetic studies showed Km values for ATP and kemptide of 11.8 ± 4.1 and 24.7 ± 3.8 µm, respectively. The parasite enzyme uses ATP and Mg2+ and was inhibited by other nucleotides and/or analogues of ATP, such as cAMP, AMP, ADP, GMP, GDP, GTP, CTP, β,γ-imidoadenosine 5′-triphosphate and 5′-[p-(fluorosulfonyl)benzoyl] adenosine, and by other divalent cations, such as Zn2+, Mn2+, Co2+, Cu2+, Ca2+ and Fe2+. Additionally, the trypanosome kinase was inhibited by the PKA-specific heat-stable peptide inhibitor PKI-α. This study is the first biochemical and enzymatic characterization of a protein kinase from T. equiperdum.
Exposure to maternal over-nutrition in utero is linked with developmental programming of obesity, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease in offspring, which may be exacerbated by postnatal high-fat (HF) diet. Skeletal muscle mitochondrial function contributes to substrate metabolism and is impaired in metabolic disease. We examined muscle mitochondrial respiration in male and female mice exposed to maternal HF diet in utero, followed by postweaning HF diet until middle age. After in utero exposure to maternal control (Con) or HF diet (45% kcal fat; 39.4% lard, 5.5% soybean oil), offspring were weaned to Con or HF, creating four groups: Con/Con (male/female (m/f), n=8/8), Con/HF (m/f, n=7/4), HF/Con (m/f, n=9/6) and HF/HF (m/f, n=4/4). Oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and electron transfer system (ETS) capacity were measured in permeabilized gastrocnemius bundles. Maternal HF diet increased fasting glucose and lean body mass in males and body fat percentage in both sexes (P⩽0.05). Maximal adenosine diphosphate-stimulated respiration (complex I OXPHOS) was decreased by maternal HF diet in female offspring (−21%, P=0.053), but not in male (−0%, P>0.05). Sexually divergent responses were exacerbated in offspring weaned to HF diet. In females, OXPHOS capacity was lower (−28%, P=0.041) when weaned to high-fat (HF/HF) v. control diet (HF/Con). In males, OXPHOS (+33%, P=0.009) and ETS (+42%, P=0.016) capacity increased. Our data suggest that maternal lard-based HF diet, rich in saturated fat, affects offspring skeletal muscle respiration in a sex-dependent manner, and these differences are exacerbated by HF diet in adulthood.
Despite sperm mitochondrial relevance to the fertilization capacity, the processes involved in the production of ATP and functional dynamics of sperm mitochondria are not fully understood. One of these processes is the paradox involved between function and formation of reactive oxygen species performed by the organelle. Therefore, this review aimed to provide data on the role of sperm mitochondria in oxidative homeostasis and functionality as well the tools to assess sperm mitochondrial function.
This review aims at summarizing and discussing previous and recent findings concerning the cerebral manifestations of mitochondrial disorders (MIDs). MIDs frequently present as mitochondrial multiorgan disorder syndrome (MIMODS) either already at onset or later in the course. After the muscle, the brain is the organ second most frequently affected in MIMODS. Cerebral manifestations of MIDs are variable and may present with or without a lesion on imaging or functional studies, but there can be imaging/functional lesions without clinical manifestations. The most well-known cerebral manifestations of MIDs include stroke-like episodes, epilepsy, headache, ataxia, movement disorders, hypopituitarism, muscle weakness, psychiatric abnormalities, nystagmus, white and gray matter lesions, atrophy, basal ganglia calcification, and hypometabolism on 2-deoxy-2-[fluorine-18]fluoro-D-glucose positron-emission tomography. For most MIDs, only symptomatic therapy is currently available. Symptomatic treatment should be supplemented by vitamins, cofactors, and antioxidants. In conclusion, cerebral manifestations of MIDs need to be recognized and appropriately managed because they strongly determine the outcome of MID patients.
Leucine plays an important role in promoting muscle protein synthesis and muscle remodelling. However, what percentage of leucine is appropriate in creep feed and what proteome profile alterations are caused by dietary leucine in the skeletal muscle of piglets remain elusive. In this case, we applied isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation to analyse the proteome profile of the longissimus dorsi muscles of weanling piglets fed a normal leucine diet (NL; 1·66 % leucine) and a high-leucine diet (HL; 2·1 % leucine). We identified 157 differentially expressed proteins between these two groups. Bioinformatics analysis of these proteins exhibited the suppression of oxidative phosphorylation and fatty acid β-oxidation, as well as the activation of glycolysis, in the HL group. For further confirmation, we identified that SDHB, ATP5F1, ACADM and HADHB were significantly down-regulated (P<0·01, except ATP5F1, P<0·05), whereas the glycolytic enzyme pyruvate kinase was significantly up-regulated (P<0·05) in the HL group. We also show that enhanced muscle protein synthesis and the transition from slow-to-fast fibres are altered by leucine. Together, these results indicate that leucine may alter energy metabolism and promote slow-to-fast transitions in the skeletal muscle of weanling piglets.
We previously reported that medium-chain TAG (MCT) could alleviate hepatic oxidative damage in weanling piglets with intra-uterine growth retardation (IUGR). There is a relationship between oxidative status and energy metabolism, a process involved in substrate availability and glucose flux. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of IUGR and MCT on hepatic energy metabolism and mitochondrial function in weanling piglets. Twenty-four IUGR piglets and twenty-four normal-birth-weight (NBW) piglets were fed a diet of either soyabean oil (SO) or MCT from 21 d of postnatal age to 49 d of postnatal age. Then, the piglets’ biochemical parameters and gene expressions related to energy metabolism and mitochondrial function were determined (n 4). Compared with NBW, IUGR decreased the ATP contents and succinate oxidation rates in the liver of piglets, and reduced hepatic mitochondrial citrate synthase (CS) activity (P<0·05). IUGR piglets exhibited reductions in hepatic mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) contents and gene expressions related to mitochondrial biogenesis compared with NBW piglets (P<0·05). The MCT diet increased plasma ghrelin concentration and hepatic CS and succinate dehydrogenase activities, but decreased hepatic pyruvate kinase activity compared with the SO diet (P<0·05). The MCT-fed piglets showed improved mtDNA contents and PPARγ coactivator-1α expression in the liver (P<0·05). The MCT diet alleviated decreased mRNA abundance of the hepatic PPARα induced by IUGR (P<0·05). It can therefore be postulated that MCT may have beneficial effects in improving energy metabolism and mitochondrial function in weanling piglets.
Epidemiological studies have established an association between obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and a number of cancer types. Research has focused predominantly on altered endocrine factors, growth factors and signalling pathways, with little known in man about the immune involvement in the relevant pathophysiological processes. Moreover, in an era of exciting new breakthroughs in cancer immunotherapy, there is also a need to study the safety and efficacy of immunotherapeutics in the complex setting of inflammatory-driven obesity-associated cancer. This review addresses key immune cell subsets underpinning obesity-associated inflammation and describes how such immune compartments might be targeted to prevent and treat obesity-associated cancer. We propose that the modulation, metabolism, migration and abundance of pro- and anti-inflammatory cells and tumour-specific T cells might be therapeutically altered to both restore immune balance, alleviating pathological inflammation, and to improve anti-tumour immune responses in obesity-associated cancer.
Virulence factors from the ROP2-family have been extensively studied in Toxoplasma gondii, but in the closely related Neospora caninum only NcROP2Fam-1 has been partially characterized to date. NcROP40 is a member of this family and was found to be more abundantly expressed in virulent isolates. Both NcROP2Fam-1 and NcROP40 were evaluated as vaccine candidates and exerted a synergistic effect in terms of protection against vertical transmission in mouse models, which suggests that they may be relevant for parasite pathogenicity. NcROP40 is localized in the rhoptry bulbs of tachyzoites and bradyzoites, but in contrast to NcROP2Fam-1, the protein does not associate with the parasitophorous vacuole membrane due to the lack of arginine-rich amphipathic helix in its sequence. Similarly to NcROP2Fam-1, NcROP40 mRNA levels are highly increased during tachyzoite egress and invasion. However, NcROP40 up-regulation does not appear to be linked to the mechanisms triggering egress. In contrast to NcROP2Fam-1, phosphorylation of NcROP40 was not observed during egress. Besides, NcROP40 secretion into the host cell was not successfully detected by immunofluorescence techniques. These findings indicate that NcROP40 and NcROP2Fam-1 carry out different functions, and highlight the need to elucidate the role of NcROP40 within the lytic cycle and to explain its relative abundance in tachyzoites.
In vitro embryo production methods induce DNA damage in the embryos. In response to these injuries, histone H2AX is phosphorylated (γH2AX) and forms foci at the sites of DNA breaks to recruit repair proteins. In this work, we quantified the DNA damage in bovine embryos undergoing parthenogenetic activation (PA), in vitro fertilization (IVF) or somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) by measuring γH2AX accumulation at different developmental stages: 1-cell, 2-cell and blastocyst. At the 1-cell stage, IVF embryos exhibited a greater number of γH2AX foci (606.1 ± 103.2) and greater area of γH2AX staining (12923.6 ± 3214.1) than did PA and SCNT embryos. No differences at the 2-cell stage were observed among embryo types. Although PA, IVF and SCNT were associated with different blastocyst formation rates (31.1%, 19.7% and 8.3%, P < 0.05), no differences in the number of γH2AX foci or area were detected among the treatments. γH2AX is detected in bovine preimplantation embryos produced by PA, IVF and SCNT; the amount of DNA damage was comparable among those embryos developing to the blastocyst stage among different methods for in vitro embryo production. While IVF resulted in increased damage at the 1-cell embryo stage, no difference was observed between PA and SCNT embryos at any developmental stage. The decrease in the number of double-stranded breaks at the blastocyst stage seems to indicate that DNA repair mechanisms are functional during embryo development.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of temperature and different levels of available phosphorus (aP) on the expression of nine genes encoding electron transport chain proteins in the Longissimus dorsi (LD) muscle of pigs. Two trials were carried out using 48 high-lean growth pigs from two different growth phases: from 15 to 30 kg (phase 1) and from 30 to 60 kg (phase 2). Pigs from growth phase 1 were fed with three different levels of dietary aP (0.107%, 0.321% or 0.535%) and submitted either to a thermoneutral (24°C and RH at 76%) or to a heat stress (34°C and RH at 70%) environment. Pigs from growth phase 2 were fed with three different levels of dietary aP (0.116%, 0.306% or 0.496%) and submitted either to a thermoneutral (22ºC and RH at 77%) or to a heat stress (32ºC and RH at 73%) environment. Heat stress decreased (P<0.001) average daily feed intake at both growth phases. At 24°C, pigs in phase 1 fed the 0.321% aP diet had greater average daily gain and feed conversion (P<0.05) than those fed the 0.107% or 0.535% while, at 34°C pigs fed the 0.535% aP had the best performance (P<0.05). Pigs from phase 2 fed the 0.306% aP had best performance in both thermal environments. Gene expression profile was analyzed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Irrespective of growing phase, the expression of six genes was lower (P<0.05) at high temperature than at thermoneutrality. The lower expression of these genes under high temperatures evidences the effects of heat stress by decreasing oxidative metabolism, through adaptive physiological mechanisms in order to reduce heat production. In pigs from phase 1, six genes were differentially expressed across aP levels (P<0.05) in the thermoneutral and one gene in the heat stress. In pigs from phase 2, two genes were differentially expressed across aP levels (P<0.05) in both thermal environments. These data revealed strong evidence that phosphorus and thermal environments are key factors to regulate oxidative phosphorylation with direct implications on animal performance.
Helianthinins are storage proteins present in Helianthus annuus seeds, belonging to the 11S globulin family. Here we describe that a fraction of the helianthinins is phosphorylated. This conclusion is supported by different criteria, including identification by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry of major protein bands revealed with a specific dye for phosphoproteins, anti-phosphoserine antibody and binding to a phosphoprotein affinity matrix. Moreover, we show that the phosphorylation status of helianthinins changes following germination.
Human milk proteins provide term and preterm infants with both nutrition and protection. The objective of the present study was to examine longitudinal changes in the protein composition of term and preterm milk during the first 2 months of lactation, focusing on protein phosphorylation and glycosylation. Using gel electrophoresis, the relative concentration and glycosylation status of lactoferrin, secretory Ig A, β-casein, α-lactalbumin, serum albumin, bile salt-stimulated lipase, xanthine oxidoreductase, tenascin and macrophage mannose receptor 1 were measured in milk collected on days 7, 10, 14, 18, 21, 28 and 60 postpartum from preterm mothers (28–32 weeks gestation, n 17). The phosphorylation status of β-casein was also investigated. To determine if these variables differ in term and preterm milk, samples from term mothers (38–41 weeks gestation, n 8) collected on days 7, 14 and 30 of lactation were also analysed. The concentration of the abundant milk proteins decreased during lactation in term and preterm milk (P <0·05). No difference in protein glycosylation was observed, except for the glycoproteins serum albumin and tenascin. The phosphorylation of β-casein varied significantly between term and preterm milk. Further investigation is required to determine whether these modifications affect protein function and are clinically important to preterm infants.
The present study aims to determine the effects of grape seed proanthocyanidin extract (GSPE) on brown adipose tissue (BAT) mitochondrial function in a state of obesity induced by diet. Wistar male rats were fed with a cafeteria diet (Cd) for 4 months; during the last 21 d, two groups were treated with doses of 25 and 50 mg GSPE/kg body weight. In the BAT, enzymatic activities of citrate synthase, cytochrome c oxidase (COX) and ATPase were determined and gene expression was analysed by real-time PCR. The mitochondrial function of BAT was determined in fresh mitochondria by high-resolution respirometry using both pyruvate and carnitine–palmitoyl-CoA as substrates. The results show that the Cd causes an important decrease in the gene expression of sirtuin 1, nuclear respiratory factor 1, isocitrate dehydrogenase 3γ and COX5α and, what is more telling, decreases the levels of mitochondrial respiration both with pyruvate and canitine–palmitoyl-CoA. Most of these parameters, which are indicative of mitochondrial dysfunction due to diet-induced obesity, are improved by chronic supplementation of GSPE. The beneficial effects caused by the administration of GSPE are exhibited as a protection against weight gain, in spite of the Cd the rats were fed. These data indicate that chronic consumption of a moderate dose of GSPE can correct an energy imbalance in a situation of diet-induced obesity, thereby improving the mitochondrial function and thermogenic capacity of the BAT.
Starch is globally important as a source of food and, in addition, has a wide range of industrial applications. Much of this agriculturally produced starch is synthesized in developing seeds, where its biological function is to provide energy for seedling establishment. Storage starch in developing seeds is synthesized in heterotrophic plastids called amyloplasts and is distinct from the transient synthesis of starch in chloroplasts. This article reviews our current understanding of storage starch biosynthesis occurring in these organelles and discusses recent advances in research in this field. The review discusses starch structure and granule initiation, emerging ideas on the evolution of the pathway, the enzymes of starch synthesis, and the post-translational modification and regulation of key enzymes of amylopectin biosynthesis.
Dietary intake of isothiocyanates (ITC) has been associated with reduced cancer risk. The dietary phenethyl ITC (PEITC) has previously been shown to decrease the phosphorylation of the translation regulator 4E binding protein 1 (4E-BP1). Decreased 4E-BP1 phosphorylation has been linked to the inhibition of cancer cell survival and decreased activity of the transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF), a key positive regulator of angiogenesis, and may therefore contribute to potential anti-cancer effects of PEITC. In the present study, we have investigated the in vitro and in vivo effects of watercress, which is a rich source of PEITC. We first demonstrated that, similar to PEITC, crude watercress extracts inhibited cancer cell growth and HIF activity in vitro. To examine the effects of dietary intake of watercress, we obtained plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cells following the ingestion of an 80 g portion of watercress from healthy participants who had previously been treated for breast cancer. Analysis of PEITC in plasma samples from nine participants demonstrated a mean maximum plasma concentration of 297 nm following the ingestion of watercress. Flow cytometric analysis of 4E-BP1 phosphorylation in peripheral blood cells from four participants demonstrated significantly reduced 4E-BP1 phosphorylation at 6 and 8 h following the ingestion of watercress. Although further investigations with larger numbers of participants are required to confirm these findings, this pilot study suggests that flow cytometry may be a suitable approach to measure changes in 4E-BP1 phosphorylation following the ingestion of watercress, and that dietary intake of watercress may be sufficient to modulate this potential anti-cancer pathway.