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Concept: Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide


Glyphosate tolerant genetically modified (GM) maize NK603 was assessed as ‘substantially equivalent’ to its isogenic counterpart by a nutrient composition analysis in order to be granted market approval. We have applied contemporary in depth molecular profiling methods of NK603 maize kernels (sprayed or unsprayed with Roundup) and the isogenic corn to reassess its substantial equivalence status. Proteome profiles of the maize kernels revealed alterations in the levels of enzymes of glycolysis and TCA cycle pathways, which were reflective of an imbalance in energy metabolism. Changes in proteins and metabolites of glutathione metabolism were indicative of increased oxidative stress. The most pronounced metabolome differences between NK603 and its isogenic counterpart consisted of an increase in polyamines including N-acetyl-cadaverine (2.9-fold), N-acetylputrescine (1.8-fold), putrescine (2.7-fold) and cadaverine (28-fold), which depending on context can be either protective or a cause of toxicity. Our molecular profiling results show that NK603 and its isogenic control are not substantially equivalent.

Concepts: Protein, Metabolism, Adenosine triphosphate, Antioxidant, Oxidative phosphorylation, Cellular respiration, Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, Glycolysis


Defects in mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) function have been implicated in a number of neurodegenerative disorders, cancer, and aging. Mitochondrial complex I (NADH dehydrogenase) is the largest and most complicated enzyme of the ETC with 45 subunits originating from two separate genomes. The biogenesis of complex I is an intricate process that requires multiple steps, subassemblies, and assembly factors. Here, we report the generation and characterization of a Drosophila model of complex I assembly factor deficiency. We show that CG7598 (dCIA30), the Drosophila homolog of human complex I assembly factor Ndufaf1, is necessary for proper complex I assembly. Reduced expression of dCIA30 results in the loss of the complex I holoenzyme band in blue-native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and loss of NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase activity in isolated mitochondria. The complex I assembly defect, caused by mutation or RNAi of dCIA30, has repercussions both during development and adulthood in Drosophila, including developmental arrest at the pupal stage and reduced stress resistance during adulthood. Expression of the single-subunit yeast alternative NADH dehydrogenase, Ndi1, can partially or wholly rescue phenotypes associated with the complex I assembly defect. Our work shows that CG7598/dCIA30 is a functional homolog of Ndufaf1 and adds to the accumulating evidence that transgenic NDI1 expression is a viable therapy for disorders arising from complex I deficiency.

Concepts: Photosynthesis, Bacteria, Metabolism, Adenosine triphosphate, Cellular respiration, Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, Electron transport chain, NADH dehydrogenase


Plant contamination by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) is crucial to food safety and human health. Enzyme inhibitors are commonly utilized in agriculture to control plant metabolism of organic components. This study revealed that the enzyme inhibitor ascorbic acid (AA) significantly reduced the activities of peroxidase (POD) and polyphenol oxidase (PPO), thus enhancing the potential risks of PAH contamination in tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.). POD and PPO enzymes in vitro effectively decomposed naphthalene (NAP), phenanthrene (PHE) and anthracene (ANT). The presence of AA reduced POD and PPO activities in plants, and thus was likely responsible for enhanced PAH accumulation in tall fescue. This conclusion is supported by the significantly enhanced uptake of PHE in plants in the presence of AA, and the positive correlation between enzyme inhibition efficiencies and the rates of metabolism of PHE in tall fescue roots. This study provides a new perspective, that the common application of enzyme inhibitors in agricultural production could increase the accumulation of organic contaminants in plants, hence enhancing risks to food safety and quality.

Concepts: Metabolism, Adenosine triphosphate, Enzyme, Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, Enzyme inhibitor, Enzymes, Festuca arundinacea


A deficient activity of one or more of the mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) enzyme complexes leads to devastating diseases, with high unmet medical needs. Mitochondria, and more specifically the OXPHOS system, are the main cellular production sites of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). Increased ROS production, ultimately leading to irreversible oxidative damage of macromolecules or to more selective and reversible redox modulation of cell signalling, is a causative hallmark of mitochondrial diseases. Here we report on the development of a new clinical-stage drug KH176 acting as a ROS-Redox modulator. Patient-derived primary skin fibroblasts were used to assess the potency of a new library of chromanyl-based compounds to reduce ROS levels and protect cells against redox-stress. The lead compound KH176 was studied in cell-based and enzymatic assays and in silico. Additionally, the metabolism, pharmacokinetics and toxicokinetics of KH176 were assessed in vivo in different animal species. We demonstrate that KH176 can effectively reduce increased cellular ROS levels and protect OXPHOS deficient primary cells against redox perturbation by targeting the Thioredoxin/Peroxiredoxin system. Due to its dual activity as antioxidant and redox modulator, KH176 offers a novel approach to the treatment of mitochondrial (-related) diseases. KH176 efficacy and safety are currently being evaluated in a Phase 2 clinical trial.

Concepts: Metabolism, Adenosine triphosphate, Mitochondrion, Oxidative phosphorylation, Cellular respiration, Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, Reactive oxygen species, Electron transport chain


Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) has emerged as a critical co-substrate for enzymes involved in the beneficial effects of regular calorie restriction on healthspan. As such, the use of NAD+precursors to augment NAD+bioavailability has been proposed as a strategy for improving cardiovascular and other physiological functions with aging in humans. Here we provide the evidence in a 2 × 6-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover clinical trial that chronic supplementation with the NAD+precursor vitamin, nicotinamide riboside (NR), is well tolerated and effectively stimulates NAD+metabolism in healthy middle-aged and older adults. Our results also provide initial insight into the effects of chronic NR supplementation on physiological function in humans, and suggest that, in particular, future clinical trials should further assess the potential benefits of NR for reducing blood pressure and arterial stiffness in this group.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Enzyme, Blood, Heart, The Canon of Medicine, Crossover study, Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, Avicenna


Many animals live in groups because of the potential benefits associated with defense and foraging. Group living may also induce a ‘calming effect’ on individuals, reducing overall metabolic demand. This effect could occur by minimising the need for individual vigilance and reducing stress through social buffering. However, this effect has proved difficult to quantify. We examined the effect of shoaling on metabolism and body condition in the gregarious damselfish Chromis viridis Using a novel respirometry methodology for social species, we found that the presence of shoal-mate visual and olfactory cues led to a reduction in the minimum metabolic rate of individuals. Fish held in isolation for 1 week also exhibited a reduction in body condition when compared with those held in shoals. These results indicate that social isolation as a result of environmental disturbance could have physiological consequences for gregarious species.

Concepts: Photosynthesis, Carbon dioxide, Metabolism, Energy, Cellular respiration, Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, Coral, Coral reef


NRPT is a combination of nicotinamide riboside (NR), a nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) precursor vitamin found in milk, and pterostilbene (PT), a polyphenol found in blueberries. Here, we report this first-in-humans clinical trial designed to assess the safety and efficacy of a repeat dose of NRPT (commercially known as Basis). NRPT was evaluated in a randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled study in a population of 120 healthy adults between the ages of 60 and 80 years. The study consisted of three treatment arms: placebo, recommended dose of NRPT (NRPT 1X), and double dose of NRPT (NRPT 2X). All subjects took their blinded supplement daily for eight weeks. Analysis of NAD+ in whole blood demonstrated that NRPT significantly increases the concentration of NAD+ in a dose-dependent manner. NAD+ levels increased by approximately 40% in the NRPT 1X group and approximately 90% in the NRPT 2X group after 4 weeks as compared to placebo and baseline. Furthermore, this significant increase in NAD+ levels was sustained throughout the entire 8-week trial. NAD+ levels did not increase for the placebo group during the trial. No serious adverse events were reported in this study. This study shows that a repeat dose of NRPT is a safe and effective way to increase NAD+ levels sustainably.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Blood, Effectiveness, Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, Clinical research, Placebo, Adenine, Adverse event


Myalgic encephalopathy/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a debilitating disease of unknown etiology, with hallmark symptoms including postexertional malaise and poor recovery. Metabolic dysfunction is a plausible contributing factor. We hypothesized that changes in serum amino acids may disclose specific defects in energy metabolism in ME/CFS. Analysis in 200 ME/CFS patients and 102 healthy individuals showed a specific reduction of amino acids that fuel oxidative metabolism via the TCA cycle, mainly in female ME/CFS patients. Serum 3-methylhistidine, a marker of endogenous protein catabolism, was significantly increased in male patients. The amino acid pattern suggested functional impairment of pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH), supported by increased mRNA expression of the inhibitory PDH kinases 1, 2, and 4; sirtuin 4; and PPARδ in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from both sexes. Myoblasts grown in presence of serum from patients with severe ME/CFS showed metabolic adaptations, including increased mitochondrial respiration and excessive lactate secretion. The amino acid changes could not be explained by symptom severity, disease duration, age, BMI, or physical activity level among patients. These findings are in agreement with the clinical disease presentation of ME/CFS, with inadequate ATP generation by oxidative phosphorylation and excessive lactate generation upon exertion.

Concepts: Protein, Carbon dioxide, Amino acid, Metabolism, Adenosine triphosphate, Oxidative phosphorylation, Cellular respiration, Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide


DNA repair is essential for life, yet its efficiency declines with age for reasons that are unclear. Numerous proteins possess Nudix homology domains (NHDs) that have no known function. We show that NHDs are NAD(+) (oxidized form of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) binding domains that regulate protein-protein interactions. The binding of NAD(+) to the NHD domain of DBC1 (deleted in breast cancer 1) prevents it from inhibiting PARP1 [poly(adenosine diphosphate-ribose) polymerase], a critical DNA repair protein. As mice age and NAD(+) concentrations decline, DBC1 is increasingly bound to PARP1, causing DNA damage to accumulate, a process rapidly reversed by restoring the abundance of NAD(+) Thus, NAD(+) directly regulates protein-protein interactions, the modulation of which may protect against cancer, radiation, and aging.

Concepts: DNA, Protein, Gene, Adenosine triphosphate, Senescence, DNA repair, Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, BRCA2


Fasting has been practiced for millennia, but, only recently, studies have shed light on its role in adaptive cellular responses that reduce oxidative damage and inflammation, optimize energy metabolism, and bolster cellular protection. In lower eukaryotes, chronic fasting extends longevity, in part, by reprogramming metabolic and stress resistance pathways. In rodents intermittent or periodic fasting protects against diabetes, cancers, heart disease, and neurodegeneration, while in humans it helps reduce obesity, hypertension, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis. Thus, fasting has the potential to delay aging and help prevent and treat diseases while minimizing the side effects caused by chronic dietary interventions.

Concepts: Photosynthesis, Carbon dioxide, Nutrition, Adenosine triphosphate, Obesity, Oxidative phosphorylation, Cellular respiration, Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide