Metabolic endophenotype and related genotypes are associated with oxidative stress in children with autism.
ABSTRACT Autism is a behaviorally defined neurodevelopmental disorder usually diagnosed in early childhood that is characterized by impairment in reciprocal communication and speech, repetitive behaviors, and social withdrawal. Although both genetic and environmental factors are thought to be involved, none have been reproducibly identified. The metabolic phenotype of an individual reflects the influence of endogenous and exogenous factors on genotype. As such, it provides a window through which the interactive impact of genes and environment may be viewed and relevant susceptibility factors identified. Although abnormal methionine metabolism has been associated with other neurologic disorders, these pathways and related polymorphisms have not been evaluated in autistic children. Plasma levels of metabolites in methionine transmethylation and transsulfuration pathways were measured in 80 autistic and 73 control children. In addition, common polymorphic variants known to modulate these metabolic pathways were evaluated in 360 autistic children and 205 controls. The metabolic results indicated that plasma methionine and the ratio of S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) to S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH), an indicator of methylation capacity, were significantly decreased in the autistic children relative to age-matched controls. In addition, plasma levels of cysteine, glutathione, and the ratio of reduced to oxidized glutathione, an indication of antioxidant capacity and redox homeostasis, were significantly decreased. Differences in allele frequency and/or significant gene-gene interactions were found for relevant genes encoding the reduced folate carrier (RFC 80G > A), transcobalamin II (TCN2 776G > C), catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT 472G > A), methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR 677C > T and 1298A > C), and glutathione-S-transferase (GST M1). We propose that an increased vulnerability to oxidative stress (endogenous or environmental) may contribute to the development and clinical manifestations of autism.
Article: Biochemical characterization and molecular evidence of a laccase from the bird's nest fungus Cyathus bulleri.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Cyathus bulleri, a bird's nest fungus, known to decolorize polymeric dye Poly R-478, was found to produce 8 U ml(-1) of laccase in malt extract broth. Laccase activity appeared as a single band on non-denaturing gel. Laccase was purified to homogeneity by anion exchange chromatography and gel filtration. The enzyme was a monomer with an apparent molecular mass of 60 kD, pI of 3.7 and was stable in the pH range of 2-6 with an optimum pH of 5.2. The optimal reaction temperature was 45 degrees C and the enzyme lost its activity above 70 degrees C. Enzyme could oxidize a broad range of various phenolic substrates. K(m) values for ABTS, 2,6-dimethoxyphenol, guaiacol, and ferulic acid were found to be 48.6, 56, 22, and 14 mM while K(cat) values were 204, 180, 95.6, and 5.2, respectively. It was completely inhibited by KCN, NaN(3), beta-mercaptoethanol, HgCl(2), and SDS, while EDTA had no effect on enzyme activity. The N-terminal amino acid sequence of C. bulleri laccase showed close homology to N-terminal sequences of laccase from other white-rot fungi. A 150 bp gene sequence encoding copper-binding domains I and II was most similar to the sequence encoding a laccase from Pycnoporus cinnabarinus with 74.8% level of similarity.Fungal Genetics and Biology 09/2005; 42(8):684-93. · 3.74 Impact Factor
Article: Methionine metabolism in mammals.The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 05/1990; 1(5):228-37. · 3.89 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Autistic disorder (AD) is a complex neuropsychiatric disorder of neurodevelopmental origin, where multiple genetic and environmental factors may interact, resulting in a clinical continuum. The genetic component is best described by a multilocus model that takes into account epistatic interactions between several susceptibility genes. In the past ten years enormous progress has been made in identifying chromosomal regions in linkage with AD, but moving from chromosomal regions to candidate genes has proven to be tremendously difficult. Neuroanatomical findings point to early dysgenetic events taking place in the cerebral cortex, cerebellum, and brainstem. At the cellular level, disease mechanisms may include altered cell migration, increased cell proliferation, decreased cell death, or altered synapse elimination. Neurochemical findings in AD point to involvement of multiple neurotransmitter systems. The serotoninergic system has been intensively investigated in AD, but other neurotransmitter systems (e.g., the GABAergic and the cholinergic system) are also coming under closer scrutiny. The role of environmental factors is still poorly characterized. It is not clear yet whether environmental factors act merely as precipitating agents, always requiring an underlying genetic liability, or whether they represent an essential component of a pathogenetic process where genetic liability alone does not lead to the full-blown autism phenotype. A third potential player in the pathogenesis of autism, in addition to genetic and environmental factors, is developmental variability due to "random" factors, e.g. small fluctuations of gene expression and complex, non-deterministic interactions between genes during brain development. These considerations suggest that a non-deterministic conceptual framework is highly appropriate for autism research.Molecular Neurobiology 09/2003; 28(1):1-22. · 5.74 Impact Factor