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Volume 52, Number 4, August 2019

Metabolic reprogramming of hydrogenosomal amino acids in Trichomonas vaginalis under glucose restriction 

Kuo-Yang Huang, Seow-Chin Ong, Chih-Ching Wu, Chia-Wei Hsu, Hsin-Chung Lin, Yi-Kai Fang, Wei-Hung Cheng, Po-Jung Huang, Cheng-Hsun Chiu, PetrusTang


Background and purpose: 

Glucose is the major energy source that is converted to pyruvate for ATP generation in the trichomonad hydrogenosome. Under glucose restriction (GR), the regulation of amino acids metabolism is crucial for trichomonad growth and survival. RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis has been used to identify differentially expressed genes in Trichomonas vaginalis under GR, leading to significant advances in understanding adaptive responses of amino acid metabolism to GR. However, the levels of amino acid metabolites modulated by GR are unknown in T. vaginalis. 



Herein, we describe a comprehensive metabolomic analysis of amino acid metabolites in the hydrogenosome using liquid chromatography Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (LC-FT MS). The relative abundance of 17 hydrogenosomal amino acids was analyzed under GR and high-glucose (HG) conditions. 



Levels of most amino acids were higher in GR culture. Arginine was not detectable in either HG or GR cultures; however, its metabolic end-product proline was slightly increased under GR, suggesting that the arginine dihydrolase pathway was more activated by GR. Additionally, methionine catabolism was less stimulated under GR because of greater methionine accumulation. Furthermore, branched chain amino acids (BCAA), including leucine, isoleucine and valine, as well as phenylalanine and alanine, markedly accumulated under GR, indicating that glutamate-related metabolic pathways were remarkably enhanced in this setting. Our metabolomic analysis combined with previous RNA-seq data confirm the existence of several amino acid metabolic pathways in the hydrogenosome and highlight their potentially important roles in T. vaginalis under glucose deprivation. 


Key words:

Trichomonas vaginalisHydrogenosomeAmino acidGlucose restrictionMetabolomics