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Mate is a traditional drink obtained from the leaves of yerba mate and rich in a diversity of plant bioactive compounds including polyphenols, particularly chlorogenic acids. Studies, even though limited, suggest that consumption of mate is associated with health effects, including prevention of cardiometabolic disorders. Molecular mechanisms underlying the potential health properties are still largely unknown, especially in humans. The aim of this study was to investigate nutrigenomic effects of mate consumption and identify regulatory networks potentially mediating cardiometabolic health benefits. Healthy middle-aged men at risk for CVD consumed a standardised mate extract or placebo for 4 weeks. Global gene expression, including protein coding and non-coding RNA profiles, was determined using microarrays. Biological function analyses were performed using integrated bioinformatic tools. Comparison of global gene expression profiles showed significant change following mate consumption with 2635 significantly differentially expressed genes, among which six are miRNA and 244 are lncRNA. Functional analyses showed that these genes are involved in regulation of cell interactions and motility, inflammation or cell signalling. Transcription factors, such as MEF2A, MYB or HNF1A, could have their activity modulated by mate consumption either by direct interaction with polyphenol metabolites or by interactions of metabolites with cell signalling proteins, like p38 or ERK1/2, that could modulate transcription factor activity and regulate expression of genes observed. Correlation analysis suggests that expression profile is inversely associated with gene expression profiles of patients with cardiometabolic disorders. Therefore, mate consumption may exert cardiometabolic protective effects by modulating gene expression towards a protective profile.
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