Evaluation of gene expression profiling in a mouse model of L-gulonolactone oxidase gene deficiency.
ABSTRACT: Humans and guinea pigs are species which are unable to synthesize ascorbic acid (vitamin C) because, unlike rodents, they lack the enzyme L-gulonolactone oxidase (Gulo). Although the phenotype of lacking vitamin C in humans, named scurvy, has long been well known, information on the impact of lacking Gulo on the gene expression profiles of different tissues is still missing. This knowledge could improve our understanding of molecular pathways in which Gulo may be involved. Recently, we discovered a deletion that includes all 12 exons in the gene for Gulo in the sfx mouse, characterized by spontaneous bone fractures. We report here the initial analysis of the impact of the Gulo gene deletion on the murine gene expression profiles in the liver, femur and kidney.
Project description:The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that hepatic vitamin C (VC) levels in VC deficient mice rescued with high doses of VC supplements still do not reach the optimal levels present in wild-type mice. For this, we used a mouse scurvy model (sfx) in which the L-gulonolactone oxidase gene (Gulo) is deleted. Six age- (6 weeks old) and gender- (female) matched wild-type (WT) and sfx mice (rescued by administering 500 mg of VC/L) were used as the control (WT) and treatment (MT) groups (n = 3 for each group), respectively. Total hepatic RNA was used in triplicate microarray assays for each group. EDGE software was used to identify differentially expressed genes and transcriptomic analysis was used to assess the potential genetic regulation of Gulo gene expression. Hepatic VC concentrations in MT mice were significantly lower than in WT mice, even though there were no morphological differences between the two groups. In MT mice, 269 differentially expressed transcripts were detected (? twice the difference between MT and WT mice), including 107 up-regulated and 162 down-regulated genes. These differentially expressed genes included stress-related and exclusively/predominantly hepatocyte genes. Transcriptomic analysis identified a major locus on chromosome 18 that regulates Gulo expression. Since three relevant oxidative genes are located within the critical region of this locus we suspect that they are involved in the down-regulation of oxidative activity in sfx mice.
Project description:For decades, mouse and other rodents have been used for the study of oxidative or related studies such as the effect of fluoride. It is known that rodents normally synthesize their own vitamin C (VC) due to the presence of a key enzyme in ascorbic acid synthesis, l-gulono-lactone-?-oxidase (Gulo), while humans do not have the capacity of VC synthesis due to the deletion of most parts of the GULO gene. The spontaneous fracture (sfx) mouse recently emerged as a model for study of VC deficiency. We investigated the effect of fluoride on liver cells from wild type Balb/c and sfx mice. We found that activities of SOD, GPx, and CAT were reduced in both wild type and sfx mice; however, the amount of reduction in the sfx cells is more than that in Balb/c cells. In addition, while both cells increased MDA, the increase in the sfx cells is greater than that in Balb/c cells. Gene networks of Sod, Gpx, and Cat in the liver of humans and mice are also different. Our study suggests that reaction to fluoride in vitamin C deficient mice might be different from that of wild type mice.
Project description:The objective of this study is to identify sex differentially expressed genes in bone using a mouse model of spontaneous fracture, sfx, which lacks the gene for L-gulonolactone oxidase (Gulo), a key enzyme in the ascorbic acid (AA) synthesis pathway. We first identified the genes that are differentially expressed in the femur between female and male in sfx mice. We then analyzed the potential gene network among those differentially expressed genes with whole genome expression profiles generated using spleens of female and male mice of a total of 67 BXD (C57BL/6J X DBA/2J) recombinant inbred (RI) and other strains. Our result indicated that there was a sex difference in the whole genome profiles in sfx mice as measured by the proportion of up- and downregulated genes. Several genes in the pathway of bone development are differentially expressed between the male and female of sfx mice. Comparison of gene network of up- and downregulated bone relevant genes also suggests a sex difference.
Project description:Suboptimal intake of dietary vitamin C (ascorbate) increases the risk of several chronic diseases but the exact metabolic pathways affected are still unknown. In this study, we examined the metabolic profile of mice lacking the enzyme gulonolactone oxidase (Gulo) required for the biosynthesis of ascorbate. Gulo-/- mice were supplemented with 0%, 0.01%, and 0.4% ascorbate (w/v) in drinking water and serum was collected for metabolite measurements by targeted mass spectrometry. We also quantified 42 serum cytokines and examined the levels of different stress markers in liver. The metabolic profiles of Gulo-/- mice treated with ascorbate were different from untreated Gulo-/- and normal wild type mice. The cytokine profiles of Gulo-/-mice, in return, overlapped the profile of wild type animals upon 0.01% or 0.4% vitamin C supplementation. The life span of Gulo-/- mice increased with the amount of ascorbate in drinking water. It also correlated significantly with the ratios of serum arginine/lysine, tyrosine/phenylalanine, and the ratio of specific species of saturated/unsaturated phosphatidylcholines. Finally, levels of hepatic phosphorylated endoplasmic reticulum associated stress markers IRE1? and eIF2? correlated inversely with serum ascorbate and life span suggesting that vitamin C modulates endoplasmic reticulum stress response and longevity in Gulo-/- mice.
Project description:AIM:l-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) insufficiency is considered one of the major risk factors for the development of liver disease. However, its specific effects and related mechanisms in vivo are largely unknown. The objective of this study was to investigate the in vivo protective role of vitamin C and its related mechanisms in liver injury with Gulo(-/-) mice that cannot synthesize vitamin C like humans due to the lack of l-gulonolactone-?-oxidase (Gulo), an essential enzyme for vitamin C synthesis. RESULTS:When liver injury was induced in Gulo(-/-) mice by injection of concanavalin A (Con A), there was greater extensive liver damage accompanied by an increased number of apoptotic hepatocytes in vitamin C-insufficient Gulo(-/-) mice. Additionally, the plasma and hepatic levels of the proinflammatory cytokines, such as TNF-? and IFN-?, were much higher in the vitamin C-insufficient Gulo(-/-) mice than in the control mice. Moreover, increased numbers of liver-infiltrating T-cells in the vitamin C-insufficient Gulo(-/-) mice were related to the increased hepatic levels of IFN-inducible factor (IP-10). Although the vitamin C-insufficient Gulo(-/-) mice had higher amounts of interleukin-22 (IL-22), a hepatoprotective cytokine, a defect in IL-22R? expression and its downstream STAT3 activation in hepatocytes were found. INNOVATION:We first demonstrate the novel in vivo action mechanisms of vitamin C on the prevention of disease development in the liver, through the regulation of excessive immune activation and maintenance of the IL-22R? signaling pathways. CONCLUSION:These results suggest that severe liver damage induced by inflammation could be prevented by sufficient supplementation with vitamin C.
Project description:BACKGROUND:L-ascorbate (Vitamin C) is an important antioxidant and co-factor in eukaryotic cells, and in mammals it is indispensable for brain development and cognitive function. Vertebrates usually become L-ascorbate auxothrophs when the last enzyme of the synthetic pathway, an L-gulonolactone oxidase (GULO), is lost. Since Protostomes were until recently thought not to have a GULO gene, they were considered to be auxothrophs for Vitamin C. RESULTS:By performing phylogenetic analyses with tens of non-Bilateria and Protostomian genomes, it is shown, that a GULO gene is present in the non-Bilateria Placozoa, Myxozoa (here reported for the first time) and Anthozoa groups, and in Protostomians, in the Araneae family, the Gastropoda class, the Acari subclass (here reported for the first time), and the Priapulida, Annelida (here reported for the first time) and Brachiopoda phyla lineages. GULO is an old gene that predates the separation of Animals and Fungi, although it could be much older. We also show that within Protostomes, GULO has been lost multiple times in large taxonomic groups, namely the Pancrustacea, Nematoda, Platyhelminthes and Bivalvia groups, a pattern similar to that reported for Vertebrate species. Nevertheless, we show that Drosophila melanogaster seems to be capable of synthesizing L-ascorbate, likely through an alternative pathway, as recently reported for Caenorhabditis elegans. CONCLUSIONS:Non-Bilaterian and Protostomians seem to be able to synthesize Vitamin C either through the conventional animal pathway or an alternative pathway, but in this animal group, not being able to synthesize L-ascorbate seems to be the exception rather than the rule.
Project description:The traditional assumption that bats cannot synthesize vitamin C (Vc) has been challenged recently. We have previously shown that two Old World bat species (Rousettus leschenaultii and Hipposideros armiger) have functional L-gulonolactone oxidase (GULO), an enzyme that catalyzes the last step of Vc biosynthesis de novo. Given the uncertainties surrounding when and how bats lost GULO function, exploration of gene evolutionary patterns is needed. We therefore sequenced GULO genes from 16 bat species in 5 families, aiming to establish their evolutionary histories. In five cases we identified pseudogenes for the first time, including two cases in the genus Pteropus (P. pumilus and P. conspicillatus) and three in family Hipposideridae (Coelops frithi, Hipposideros speoris, and H. bicolor). Evolutionary analysis shows that the Pteropus clade has the highest ? ratio and has been subjected to relaxed selection for less than 3 million years. Purifying selection acting on the pseudogenized GULO genes of roundleaf bats (family Hipposideridae) suggests they have lost the ability to synthesize Vc recently. Limited mutations in the reconstructed GULO sequence of the ancestor of all bats contrasts with the many mutations in the ancestral sequence of recently emerged Pteropus bats. We identified at least five mutational steps that were then related to clade origination times. Together, our results suggest that bats lost the ability to biosynthesize vitamin C recently by exhibiting stepwise mutation patterns during GULO evolution that can ultimately lead to pseudogenization.
Project description:Prolyl-4-hydroxylation is necessary for proper structural assembly of collagens and oxygen-dependent protein stability of hypoxia-inducible transcription factors (HIFs). In vitro function of HIF prolyl-4-hydroxylase domain (PHD) enzymes requires oxygen and 2-oxoglutarate as cosubstrates with iron(II) and vitamin C serving as cofactors. Although vitamin C deficiency is known to cause the collagen-disassembly disease scurvy, it is unclear whether cellular oxygen sensing is similarly affected. Here, we report that vitamin C-deprived Gulo(-/-) knockout mice show normal HIF-dependent gene expression. The systemic response of Gulo(-/-) animals to inspiratory hypoxia, as measured by plasma erythropoietin levels, was similar to that of animals supplemented with vitamin C. Hypoxic HIF induction was also essentially normal under serum- and vitamin C-free cell-culture conditions, suggesting that vitamin C is not required for oxygen sensing in vivo. Glutathione was found to fully substitute for vitamin C requirement of all 3 PHD isoforms in vitro. Consistently, glutathione also reduced HIF-1? protein levels, transactivation activity, and endogenous target gene expression in cells exposed to CoCl(2). A Cys201Ser mutation in PHD2 increased basal hydroxylation rates and conferred resistance to oxidative damage in vitro, suggesting that this surface-accessible PHD2 cysteine residue is a target of antioxidative protection by vitamin C and glutathione.
Project description:Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is an enzyme co-factor in eukaryotes that also plays a critical role in protecting photosynthetic eukaryotes against damaging reactive oxygen species derived from the chloroplast. Many animal lineages, including primates, have become ascorbate auxotrophs due to the loss of the terminal enzyme in their biosynthetic pathway, L-gulonolactone oxidase (GULO). The alternative pathways found in land plants and Euglena use a different terminal enzyme, L-galactonolactone dehydrogenase (GLDH). The evolutionary processes leading to these differing pathways and their contribution to the cellular roles of ascorbate remain unclear. Here we present molecular and biochemical evidence demonstrating that GULO was functionally replaced with GLDH in photosynthetic eukaryote lineages following plastid acquisition. GULO has therefore been lost repeatedly throughout eukaryote evolution. The formation of the alternative biosynthetic pathways in photosynthetic eukaryotes uncoupled ascorbate synthesis from hydrogen peroxide production and likely contributed to the rise of ascorbate as a major photoprotective antioxidant.
Project description:L-gulono-?-lactone oxidase (Gulo) catalyzes the last step of ascorbic acid biosynthesis, which occurs in the kidney of elasmobranchs. This study aimed to clone and sequence gulonolactone oxidase (gulo) from the kidney of the euryhaline freshwater stingray, Himantura signifer, and to determine the effects of acclimation from freshwater to brackish water (salinity 20) on its renal gulo mRNA expression and Gulo activity. We also examined the effects of brackish water acclimation on concentrations of ascorbate, dehydroascorbate and ascorbate + dehydroascorbate in the kidney, brain and gill. The complete cDNA coding sequence of gulo from the kidney of H. signifer contained 1323 bp coding for 440 amino acids. The expression of gulo was kidney-specific, and renal gulo expression decreased significantly by 67% and 50% in fish acclimated to brackish water for 1 day and 6 days, respectively. There was also a significant decrease in renal Gulo activity after 6 days of acclimation to brackish water. Hence, brackish water acclimation led to a decrease in the ascorbic acid synthetic capacity in the kidney of H. signifer. However, there were significant increases in concentrations of ascorbate and ascorbate + dehydroascorbate in the gills (after 1 or 6 days), and a significant increase in the concentration of ascorbate and a significant decrease in the concentration of dehydroascorbate in the brain (after 1 day) of fish acclimated to brackish water. Taken together, our results indicate that H. signifer might experience greater salinity-induced oxidative stress in freshwater than in brackish water, possibly related to its short history of freshwater invasion. These results also suggest for the first time a possible relationship between the successful invasion of the freshwater environment by some euryhaline marine elasmobranchs and the ability of these elasmobranchs to increase the capacity of ascorbic acid synthesis in response to hyposalinity stress.