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    ABSTRACT: Certain myrosinase-positive human gut bacteria can metabolize glucosinolates (GSLs) to produce isothiocyanates (ITC) as chemopreventive agents. We investigated glucoerucin, glucoiberin, and glucoraphanin (present in broccoli) metabolism by human gut strains. All tested bacteria metabolized glucoerucin to completion within 16 h to erucin and erucin nitrile (NIT). Lactobacillus agilis R16 metabolized only 10% of glucoiberin and glucoraphanin with no detectable products. Enterococcus casseliflavus CP1, however, metabolized 40-50% of glucoiberin and glucoraphanin producing relatively low concentrations of iberin and sulforaphane. Interestingly, Escherichia coli VL8 metabolized 80-90% of glucoiberin and glucoraphanin and also bioconverted glucoraphanin and glucoiberin to glucoerucin and glucoiberverin, respectively, producing erucin, erucin NIT, iberverin, and iberverin NIT from the two GSLs. The putative reductase enzyme in the cell-free extracts of this bacterium required both Mg(2+) and NAD(P)H as cofactors for bioconversion. The cell-free extract of E. coli VL8 containing the reductase enzyme was able to reduce both the GSL glucoraphanin and its hydrolysis product sulforaphane to glucoerucin and erucin/erucin NIT, respectively. The composition and metabolic activity of the human gut bacteria can indirectly impact on the potential chemopreventive effects of GSL-derived metabolites.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · Molecular Nutrition & Food Research
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    ABSTRACT: Recent research has indicated a new mode of intercellular communication facilitated by the movement of RNA between cells. There is evidence that RNA can transfer between cells in a multitude of ways, including in complex with proteins or lipids or in vesicles, including apoptotic bodies and exosomes. However, there remains little understanding of the function of nucleic acid transfer between human cells. In this article, we report that human macrophages transfer microRNAs (miRNAs) to hepato-carcinoma cells (HCCs) in a manner that required intercellular contact and involved gap junctions. Two specific miRNAs transferred efficiently between these cells-miR-142 and miR-223-and both were endogenously expressed in macrophages and not in HCCs. Transfer of these miRNAs influenced posttranscriptional regulation of proteins in HCCs, including decreased expression of reporter proteins and endogenously expressed stathmin-1 and insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor. Importantly, transfer of miRNAs from macrophages functionally inhibited proliferation of these cancerous cells. Thus, these data led us to propose that intercellular transfer of miRNA from immune cells could serve as a new defense against unwanted cell proliferation or tumor growth.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2013 · The Journal of Immunology
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    ABSTRACT: Unlabelled: Nitrogen regulation in Escherichia coli is a model system for gene regulation in bacteria. Growth on glutamine as a sole nitrogen source is assumed to be nitrogen limiting, inferred from slow growth and strong NtrB/NtrC-dependent gene activation. However, we show that under these conditions, the intracellular glutamine concentration is not limiting but 5.6-fold higher than in ammonium-replete conditions; in addition, α-ketoglutarate concentrations are elevated. We address this glutamine paradox from a systems perspective. We show that the dominant role of NtrC is to regulate glnA transcription and its own expression, indicating that the glutamine paradox is not due to NtrC-independent gene regulation. The absolute intracellular NtrC and GS concentrations reveal molecular control parameters, where NtrC-specific activities were highest in nitrogen-starved cells, while under glutamine growth, NtrC showed intermediate specific activity. We propose an in vivo model in which α-ketoglutarate can derepress nitrogen regulation despite nitrogen sufficiency. Importance: Nitrogen is the most important nutrient for cell growth after carbon, and its metabolism is coordinated at the metabolic, transcriptional, and protein levels. We show that growth on glutamine as a sole nitrogen source, commonly assumed to be nitrogen limiting and used as such as a model system for nitrogen limitation, is in fact nitrogen replete. Our integrative quantitative analysis of key molecules involved in nitrogen assimilation and regulation reveal that glutamine is not necessarily the dominant molecule signaling nitrogen sufficiency and that α-ketoglutarate may play a more important role in signaling nitrogen status. NtrB/NtrC integrates α-ketoglutarate and glutamine signaling--sensed by the UTase (glnD) and PII (glnB), respectively--and regulates the nitrogen response through self-regulated expression and phosphorylation-dependent activation of the nitrogen (ntr) regulon. Our findings support α-ketoglutarate acting as a global regulatory metabolite.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · mBio
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