A general method for selection of alpha-acetolactate decarboxylase-deficient Lactococcus lactis mutants to improve diacetyl formation. (1/531)

The enzyme acetolactate decarboxylase (Ald) plays a key role in the regulation of the alpha-acetolactate pool in both pyruvate catabolism and the biosynthesis of the branched-chain amino acids, isoleucine, leucine, and valine (ILV). This dual role of Ald, due to allosteric activation by leucine, was used as a strategy for the isolation of Ald-deficient mutants of Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis biovar diacetylactis. Such mutants can be selected as leucine-resistant mutants in ILV- or IV-prototrophic strains. Most dairy lactococcus strains are auxotrophic for the three amino acids. Therefore, the plasmid pMC004 containing the ilv genes (encoding the enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of IV) of L. lactis NCDO2118 was constructed. Introduction of pMC004 into ILV-auxotrophic dairy strains resulted in an isoleucine-prototrophic phenotype. By plating the strains on a chemically defined medium supplemented with leucine but not valine and isoleucine, spontaneous leucine-resistant mutants were obtained. These mutants were screened by Western blotting with Ald-specific antibodies for the presence of Ald. Selected mutants lacking Ald were subsequently cured of pMC004. Except for a defect in the expression of Ald, the resulting strain, MC010, was identical to the wild-type strain, as shown by Southern blotting and DNA fingerprinting. The mutation resulting in the lack of Ald in MC010 occurred spontaneously, and the strain does not contain foreign DNA; thus, it can be regarded as food grade. Nevertheless, its application in dairy products depends on the regulation of genetically modified organisms. These results establish a strategy to select spontaneous Ald-deficient mutants from transformable L. lactis strains.  (+info)

Criteria for choosing amino acid therapy in acute renal failure. (2/531)

Metabolic studies were performed on 19 patients with acute renal failure. Therapy included intravenous hyperalimentation using 15 to 20 g of essential amino acids or 20 to 40 g of essential plus nonessential amino acids and hypertonic glucose (37 to 50%). The effect of this parenteral feeding appears to be primarily pharmacological. Hypertonic glucose promotes the hyperinsulinemia important to be membrane function, the operation of the sodium pump, and cell metabolism. Administration of high biological value crystalline amino acdis potentiates the effect of insulin by inhibiting protein breakdown and promoting protein synthesis, particularly in muscle. This reduces tissue catabolism and urea formation, and promotes potassium, magnesium, and phosphate homeostasis. The branched-chain ketogenic amino acids valine, leucine, and isoleucine may be of particular importance. When indicated, administration of renal failure hyperalimentation and peritoneal or hemodialysis can be expected to complement each other and accelerate recovery. This intravenous fluid therapy, in turn, must be coordinated with proper hemodynamics, usually requiring a colloidal solution to maintain intravascular volume, and cardiotrophic agents such as digitalis and dopamine. Early use of renal failure can be expected to demonstrate the most striking response in terms of survival, early recovery from acute renal failure, and the preservation of physiological homeostasis.  (+info)

Effects of dietary mixtures of amino acids on fetal growth and maternal and fetal amino acid pools in experimental maternal phenylketonuria. (3/531)

BACKGROUND: Branched-chain amino acids have been reported to improve fetal brain development in a rat model in which maternal phenylketonuria (PKU) is induced by the inclusion of an inhibitor of phenylalanine hydroxylase, DL-p-chlorophenylalanine, and L-phenylalanine in the diet. OBJECTIVE: We studied whether a dietary mixture of several large neutral amino acids (LNAAs) would improve fetal brain growth and normalize the fetal brain amino acid profile in a rat model of maternal PKU induced by DL-alpha-methylphenylalanine (AMPhe). DESIGN: Long-Evans rats were fed a basal diet or a similar diet containing 0.5% AMPhe + 3.0% L-phenylalanine (AMPhe + Phe diet) from day 11 until day 20 of gestation in experiments to test various mixtures of LNAAs. Maternal weight gains and food intakes to day 20, fetal body and brain weights at day 20, and fetal brain and fetal and maternal plasma amino acid concentrations at day 20 were measured. RESULTS: Concentrations of phenylalanine and tyrosine in fetal brain and in maternal and fetal plasma were higher and fetal brain weights were lower in rats fed the AMPhe + Phe diet than in rats fed the basal diet. However, fetal brain growth was higher and concentrations of phenylalanine and tyrosine in fetal brain and in maternal and fetal plasma were lower in rats fed the AMPhe + Phe diet plus LNAAs than in rats fed the diet containing AMPhe + Phe alone. CONCLUSION: LNAA supplementation of the diet improved fetal amino acid profiles and alleviated most, but not all, of the depression in fetal brain growth observed in this model of maternal PKU.  (+info)

In vitro transcriptional studies of the bkd operon of Pseudomonas putida: L-branched-chain amino acids and D-leucine are the inducers. (4/531)

BkdR is the transcriptional activator of the bkd operon, which encodes the four proteins of the branched-chain keto acid dehydrogenase multienzyme complex of Pseudomonas putida. In this study, hydroxyl radical footprinting revealed that BkdR bound to only one face of DNA over the same region identified in DNase I protection assays. Deletions of even a few bases in the 5' region of the BkdR-binding site greatly reduced transcription, confirming that the entire protected region is necessary for transcription. In vitro transcription of the bkd operon was obtained by using a vector containing the bkdR-bkdA1 intergenic region plus the putative rho-independent terminator of the bkd operon. Substrate DNA, BkdR, and any of the L-branched-chain amino acids or D-leucine was required for transcription. Branched-chain keto acids, D-valine, and D-isoleucine did not promote transcription. Therefore, the L-branched-chain amino acids and D-leucine are the inducers of the bkd operon. The concentration of L-valine required for half-maximal transcription was 2.8 mM, which is similar to that needed to cause half-maximal proteolysis due to a conformational change in BkdR. A model for transcriptional activation of the bkd operon by BkdR during enzyme induction which incorporates these results is presented.  (+info)

Serum hepatocyte growth factor as an index of extensive catabolism of patients awaiting liver transplantation. (5/531)

BACKGROUND: Whole body catabolism as the result of intrahepatic metabolic derangement is common in liver transplant candidates. However, individual nutritional assessment parameters lack sensitivity and specificity in determining energy status of these patients. Recently, serum hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) has been shown to reflect the recovery of hepatic energy metabolism after liver transplantation. AIMS: The relation between preoperative levels of serum HGF and metabolic variables was investigated to clarify the clinical value of measuring HGF in evaluations of the catabolism. PATIENTS/METHODS: Blood samples were obtained from 30 liver transplant recipients, and biopsy specimens were taken from each recipient's rectus muscle and the explanted liver. Preoperative serum concentration of HGF was determined. Whole body energy metabolism was assessed by measuring glycogen contents of biopsy specimens and plasma or serum levels of glucose, insulin, total ketone bodies, total carnitine, and amino acids. RESULTS: Serum HGF concentration was elevated in 22 of 30 patients and correlated with the Child-Pugh score. It showed a negative association with muscle glycogen content, and a positive correlation with serum levels of glucose, total carnitine, and total ketone bodies. Patients with elevated serum HGF concentrations had higher preoperative plasma levels of aromatic amino acids and branched chain amino acids, associated with lower branched chain to aromatic amino acid ratios. CONCLUSIONS: The elevated serum concentration of HGF in liver transplant candidates reflected inhibition of peripheral glucose storage, enhanced lipid oxidation, and increased peripheral release of branched chain amino acids, and thus extensive energy catabolism.  (+info)

Splanchnic and leg substrate exchange after ingestion of a natural mixed meal in humans. (6/531)

The disposal of a mixed meal was examined in 11 male subjects by multiple (splanchnic and femoral) catheterization combined with double-isotope technique (intravenous [2-3H]glucose plus oral U-[14C]starch). Glucose kinetics and organ substrate balance were measured basally and for 5 h after eating pizza (600 kcal) containing carbohydrates 75 g as starch, proteins 37 g, and lipids 17 g. The portal appearance of ingested carbohydrate was maximal (1.0 mmol/min) between 30 and 60 min after the meal and gradually declined thereafter, but was still incomplete at 300 min (0.46+/-0.08 mmol/min). The total amount of glucose absorbed by the gut over the 5 h of the study was 247+/-26 mmol (45+/-6 g), corresponding to 60+/-6% of the ingested starch. Net splanchnic glucose balance (-6.7+/-0.5 micromol x kg(-1) x min(-1), basal) rose by 250-300% between 30 and 60 min and then returned to baseline. Hepatic glucose production (HGP) was suppressed slightly and only tardily in response to meal ingestion (approximately 30% between 120 and 300 min). Splanchnic glucose uptake (3.7+/-0.6 micromol x kg(-1) x min(-1), basal) peaked to 9.8+/-2.0 micromol x kg(-1) x min(-1) (P<0.001) at 120 min and then returned slowly to baseline. Leg glucose uptake (34+/-5 micromol x leg(-1) x min(-1), basal) rose to 151+/-29 micromol x leg(-1) x min(-1) at 30 min (P<0.001) and remained above baseline until the end of the study, despite no increase in leg blood flow. The total amount of glucose taken up by the splanchnic area and total muscle mass was 161+/-16 mmol (29+/-3 g) and 128 mmol (23 g), respectively, which represent 39 and 30% of the ingested starch. Arterial blood lactate increased by 30% after meal ingestion. Net splanchnic lactate balance switched from a basal net uptake (3.2+/-0.6 micromol kg(-1) x min(-1) to a net output between 60 and 120 min and tended to zero thereafter. Leg lactate release (25+/-11 micromol x leg(-1) x min(-1), basal) drastically decreased postprandially. Arterial concentration of both branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) and non-branched-chain amino acids (N-BCAA) increased significantly after meal ingestion (P<0.001). The splanchnic area switched from a basal net amino acid uptake (31+/-16 and 92+/-48 micromol/min for BCAA and N-BCAA, respectively) to a net amino acid release postprandially. The net splanchnic amino acid release over 5 h was 11.3+/-4.2 mmol for BCAA and 37.8+/-9.7 mmol for N-BCAA. Basally, the net leg balance of BCAA was neutral (-3+/-5 micromol x leg(-1) x min(-1)), whereas that of N-BCAA indicated a net release (54+/-14 micromol x leg(-1) x min(-1)). After meal ingestion, there was a net leg uptake of BCAA (20+/-6 micromol x leg(-1) x min(-1)), whereas leg release of N-BCAA decreased by 50%. It is concluded that in human subjects, 1) the absorption of a natural mixed meal is still incomplete at 5 h after ingestion; 2) HGP is only marginally and tardily inhibited; 3) splanchnic and peripheral tissues contribute to the disposal of meal carbohydrate to approximately the same extent; 4) the splanchnic area transfers >30% of the ingested proteins to the systemic circulation; and 5) after meal ingestion, skeletal muscle takes up BCAA to replenish muscle protein stores.  (+info)

Branched-chain amino acid therapy for spinocerebellar degeneration: a pilot clinical crossover trial. (7/531)

OBJECT: The potential effects of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) on spinocerebellar degeneration (SCD) were explored in eleven patients. METHODS: The patients received 200 ml of BCAA-rich solution, 2 mg of thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH; protirelin), or a placebo daily for 7 days each in a random order. An SCD score was used to quantify the severity of symptoms. PATIENTS: Eleven patients with SCD (7 male, 4 female; mean age 60+/-11; mean disease duration 5.5 years) participated in this study. RESULTS: The mean SCD score of the eleven patients improved significantly by the BCAA treatment compared with the baseline. The conditions of five of the eleven patients (45%) were clearly improved by the BCAA treatment. All of the responders manifested predominantly cerebellar symptoms, but no prominent parkinsonian symptoms. Two patients with marked rigidity and akinesia did not respond to the treatment. CONCLUSION: We concluded that BCAAs do have a beneficial effect on functional improvement in patients with SCD, and that further large scale studies are needed.  (+info)

Contribution of branched-chain amino acids to uteroplacental ammonia production in sheep. (8/531)

The uteroplacental tissues are a principal site of ammonia production for the conceptus. The goal of this study was to examine the effect of the composition of maternal amino acid (AA) infusate on uteroplacental ammonia production. Seven pregnant ewes (126 +/- 1. 4 days gestation) were infused through the maternal femoral vein (duration 3.5 h, rate 240 ml per hour) with three solutions of AAs. The first infusate was comparable to commercial parenteral nutrition preparations, the second infusate contained the same solution without branched-chain AAs (BCAAs), and the third infusate contained only BCAAs. Blood samples were simultaneously collected from the maternal artery, uterine vein, fetal artery, and umbilical vein to determine plasma AA concentrations and whole blood ammonia concentrations, before (control) and 2 h after (experimental) the start of infusion. Uterine and umbilical blood flows were measured using the ethanol steady-state diffusion method. Results showed that fetal arterial and venous ammonia concentrations increased significantly after infusions with all AAs or only BCAAs, but not without BCAAs. Uteroplacental ammonia production increased in response to each of the three infusates. However, this increase was much greater when the BCAAs were present in infusates. We conclude that there is a significant contribution of BCAAs to the uteroplacental ammonia production. Maternal AA infusions containing BCAAs can result in increased fetal blood ammonia concentrations.  (+info)