Imperial College London

Dr Elizabeth Want

Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction

Senior Lecturer
 
 
 
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Contact

 

+44 (0)20 7594 3023e.want

 
 
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Location

 

660/360Sir Alexander Fleming BuildingSouth Kensington Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
Year
to

108 results found

Jukes Z, Freier A, Glymenaki M, Brown R, Parry L, Want E, Vorkas PA, Li JVet al., 2021, Lipid profiling of mouse intestinal organoids for studying APC mutations, Bioscience Reports: molecular and cellular biology of the cell surface, Vol: 41, Pages: 1-11, ISSN: 0144-8463

Inactivating mutations including both germline and somatic mutations in the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene drives most familial and sporadic colorectal cancers. Understanding the metabolic implications of this mutation will aid to establish its wider impact on cellular behaviour and potentially inform clinical decisions. However, to date, alterations in lipid metabolism induced by APC mutations remain unclear. Intestinal organoids have gained widespread popularity in studying colorectal cancer and chemotherapies, because their 3D structure more accurately mimics an in vivo environment. Here, we aimed to investigate intra-cellular lipid disturbances induced by APC gene mutations in intestinal organoids using a reversed-phase ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (RP-UHPLC-MS)-based lipid profiling method. Lipids of the organoids grown from either wild-type (WT) or mice with APC mutations (Lgr5–EGFP-IRES-CreERT2Apcfl/fl) were extracted and analysed using RP-UHPLC-MS. Levels of phospholipids (e.g. PC(16:0/16:0), PC(18:1/20:0), PC(38:0), PC(18:1/22:1)), ceramides (e.g. Cer(d18:0/22:0), Cer(d42:0), Cer(d18:1/24:1)) and hexosylceramides (e.g. HexCer(d18:1/16:0), HexCer(d18:1/22:0)) were higher in Apcfl/fl organoids, whereas levels of sphingomyelins (e.g. SM(d18:1/14:0), SM(d18:1/16:0)) were lower compared with WT. These observations indicate that cellular metabolism of sphingomyelin was up-regulated, resulting in the cellular accumulation of ceramides and production of HexCer due to the absence of Apcfl/fl in the organoids. Our observations demonstrated lipid profiling of organoids and provided an enhanced insight into the effects of the APC mutations on lipid metabolism, making for a valuable addition to screening options of the organoid lipidome.

Journal article

Pilla R, Law TH, Pan Y, Zanghi BM, Li Q, Want EJ, Lidbury JA, Steiner JM, Suchodolski JS, Volk HAet al., 2020, The effects of a ketogenic medium-chain triglyceride diet on the feces in dogs with idiopathic epilepsy, Frontiers in Veterinary Science, Vol: 7, Pages: 1-12, ISSN: 2297-1769

Consumption of diets containing medium chain triglycerides have been shown to confer neuroprotective and behavior modulating effects. We aimed to identify metabolic and microbiome perturbations in feces that are associated with consumption of a medium chain triglyceride ketogenic diet (MCT-KD) in dogs with idiopathic epilepsy. We used 16S rRNA gene sequencing to generate microbiome profiles and ultra-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS) to generate lipidomic profiles of canine feces. We made comparisons between the MCT-KD, standardized placebo diet and baseline pre-trial diet phases. Consumption of the MCT-KD resulted in a significant increase in the species richness (α-diversity) of bacterial communities found in the feces when compared to the baseline diet. However, phylogenetical diversity between samples (beta-diversity) was not affected by diet. An unnamed Bacteroidaceae species within genus 5-7N15 was identified by LEfSe as a potential biomarker associated with consumption of the MCT-KD, showing an increased abundance (p = 0.005, q = 0.230) during consumption of MCT-KD. In addition, unclassified members of families Erysipelotrichaceae (p = 0.013, q = 0.335) and Fusobacteriaceae (p = 0.022, q = 0.358) were significantly increased during MCT-KD consumption compared to baseline. Blautia sp. and Megamonas sp. instead were decreased during consumption of either placebo or MCT-KD (p = 0.045, q = 0.449, and p = 0.039, q = 0.449, respectively). Bacteroidaceae, including genus 5-7N15, have previously been associated with non-aggressive behavior in dogs. In addition, 5-7N15 is correlated in humans with Akkermansia, a genus known to be involved in the neuroprotective effect of ketogenic diets in mice models of seizures. Five metabolite features, tentatively identified as long chain triglycerides, were significantly higher after consumption of the placebo diet, but no unique features were identified after consumption of the MCT-KD. The data

Journal article

Friston D, Junttila S, Borges Paes Lemes J, Laycock H, Torres-Perez J, Want E, Gyenesei A, Nagy Iet al., 2020, Leptin and fractalkine: novel subcutaneous cytokines in burn injury, Disease Models and Mechanisms, Vol: 13, ISSN: 1754-8403

Burn injury is a pathology underpinned by progressive and aberrant inflammation. It is a major clinical challenge to survival and quality of life. While burn injury’s complex local and disseminating pathological processes ultimately stem from local tissue damage, to date relatively few studies have attempted to characterise the local inflammatory mediator profile. Here, cytokine content and associated transcriptional changes were measured in rat skin for three hours immediately following induction of a scald-type (60oC, 2 minutes) burn injury model. Leptin (p = 0.0002) and fractalkine (p = 0.0478) concentrations were significantly elevated post-burn above pre-burn and control site values, coinciding with the development of burn site oedema and differential expression of leptin mRNA (p = 0.0004). Further, gene sequencing enrichment analysis indicated cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction (p = 1.45x10-6). Subsequent behavioural studies demonstrated that, following subcutaneous injection into the dorsum of the paw, both leptin and fractalkine induced mechanical allodynia, heat hyperalgesia and the recruitment of macrophages. This is the first report of leptin’s elevation specifically at the burn site and the first report of fractalkine’s elevation in any tissue post-burn which, together with the functional findings, calls for exploration of the influence of these cytokines on pain, inflammation and burn wound progression. Additionally targeting these signalling molecules represents a therapeutic potential as early formative mediators of these pathological processes.

Journal article

Friston D, Junttila S, Lemes JBP, Laycock H, Torres-Perez JV, Want E, Gyenesei A, Nagy Iet al., 2020, Leptin and fractalkine: Novel subcutaneous cytokines in burn injury., Dis Model Mech

Burn injury is a pathology underpinned by progressive and aberrant inflammation. It is a major clinical challenge to survival and quality of life. While burn injury's complex local and disseminating pathological processes ultimately stem from local tissue damage, to date relatively few studies have attempted to characterise the local inflammatory mediator profile. Here, cytokine content and associated transcriptional changes were measured in rat skin for three hours immediately following induction of a scald-type (60°C, 2 minutes) burn injury model. Leptin (p=0.0002) and fractalkine (p=0.0478) concentrations were significantly elevated post-burn above pre-burn and control site values, coinciding with the development of burn site oedema and differential expression of leptin mRNA (p=0.0004). Further, gene sequencing enrichment analysis indicated cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction (p=1.45x10-6). Subsequent behavioural studies demonstrated that, following subcutaneous injection into the dorsum of the paw, both leptin and fractalkine induced mechanical allodynia, heat hyperalgesia and the recruitment of macrophages. This is the first report of leptin's elevation specifically at the burn site and the first report of fractalkine's elevation in any tissue post-burn which, together with the functional findings, calls for exploration of the influence of these cytokines on pain, inflammation and burn wound progression. Additionally targeting these signalling molecules represents a therapeutic potential as early formative mediators of these pathological processes.

Journal article

Ivanisevic J, Want EJ, 2019, From samples to insights into metabolism: uncovering biologically relevant information in LC-HRMS metabolomics data, Metabolites, Vol: 9, Pages: 1-30, ISSN: 2218-1989

Untargeted metabolomics (including lipidomics) is a holistic approach to biomarker discovery and mechanistic insights into disease onset and progression, and response to intervention. Each step of the analytical and statistical pipeline is crucial for the generation of high-quality, robust data. Metabolite identification remains the bottleneck in these studies; therefore, confidence in the data produced is paramount in order to maximize the biological output. Here, we outline the key steps of the metabolomics workflow and provide details on important parameters and considerations. Studies should be designed carefully to ensure appropriate statistical power and adequate controls. Subsequent sample handling and preparation should avoid the introduction of bias, which can significantly affect downstream data interpretation. It is not possible to cover the entire metabolome with a single platform; therefore, the analytical platform should reflect the biological sample under investigation and the question(s) under consideration. The large, complex datasets produced need to be pre-processed in order to extract meaningful information. Finally, the most time-consuming steps are metabolite identification, as well as metabolic pathway and network analysis. Here we discuss some widely used tools and the pitfalls of each step of the workflow, with the ultimate aim of guiding the reader towards the most efficient pipeline for their metabolomics studies.

Journal article

Friston D, Laycock H, Nagy I, Want EJet al., 2019, Microdialysis workflow for metabotyping superficial pathologies: application to burn injury, Analytical Chemistry, Vol: 91, Pages: 6541-6548, ISSN: 0003-2700

Burn injury can be a devastating traumatic injury, with long-term personal and social implications for the patient. The many complex local and disseminating pathological processes underlying burn injury's clinical challenges are orchestrated from the site of injury and develop over time, yet few studies of the molecular basis of these mechanisms specifically explore the local signaling environment. Those that do are typically destructive in nature and preclude the collection of longitudinal temporal data. Burn injury therefore exemplifies a superficial temporally dynamic pathology for which experimental sampling typically prioritizes either specificity to the local burn site or continuous collection from circulation. Here, we present an exploratory approach to the targeted elucidation of complex, local, acutely temporally dynamic interstitia through its application to burn injury. Subcutaneous microdialysis is coupled with ultraperformance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS) analysis, permitting the application of high-throughput metabolomic profiling to samples collected both continuously and specifically from the burn site. We demonstrate this workflow's high yield of burn-altered metabolites including the complete structural elucidation of niacinamide and uric acid, two compounds potentially involved in the pathology of burn injury. Further understanding the metabolic changes induced by burn injury will help to guide therapeutic intervention in the future. This approach is equally applicable to the analysis of other tissues and pathological conditions, so it may further improve our understanding of the metabolic changes underlying a wide variety of pathological processes.

Journal article

Przystal JM, Hajji N, Khozoie C, Renziehausen A, Qingyu Z, Abaitua F, Hajitou A, Suwan K, Want E, Bomalaski J, Szlosarek P, O'Neill K, Crook T, Syed Net al., 2018, Efficacy of arginine depletion by ADI-PEG20 in an intracranial model of GBM, Cell Death and Disease, Vol: 9, ISSN: 2041-4889

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) remains a cancer with a poor prognosis and few effective therapeutic options. Successful medical management of GBM is limited by the restricted access of drugs to the central nervous system (CNS) caused by the blood brain barrier (BBB). We previously showed that a subset of GBM are arginine auxotrophic because of transcriptional silencing of ASS1 and/or ASL and are sensitive to pegylated arginine deiminase (ADI-PEG20). However, it is unknown whether depletion of arginine in peripheral blood in vivo has therapeutic activity against intracranial disease. In the present work, we describe the efficacy of ADI-PEG20 in an intracranial model of human GBM in which tumour growth and regression are assessed in real time by measurement of luciferase activity. Animals bearing intracranial human GBM tumours of varying ASS status were treated with ADI-PEG20 alone or in combination with temozolomide and monitored for tumour growth and regression. Monotherapy ADI-PEG20 significantly reduces the intracranial growth of ASS1 negative GBM and extends survival of mice carrying ASS1 negative GBM without obvious toxicity. The combination of ADI-PEG20 with temozolomide (TMZ) demonstrates enhanced effects in both ASS1 negative and ASS1 positive backgrounds.Our data provide proof of principle for a therapeutic strategy for GBM using peripheral blood arginine depletion that does not require BBB passage of drug and is well tolerated. The ability of ADI-PEG20 to cytoreduce GBM and enhance the effects of temozolomide argues strongly for its early clinical evaluation in the treatment of GBM.

Journal article

Lau CH, Siskos AP, Maitre L, Robinson O, Athersuch TJ, Want EJ, Urquiza J, Casas M, Vafeiadi M, Roumeliotaki T, McEachan RRC, Azad R, Haug LS, Meltzer HM, Andrusaityte S, Petraviciene I, Grazuleviciene R, Thomsen C, Wright J, Slama R, Chatzi L, Vrijheid M, Keun HC, Coen Met al., 2018, Determinants of the urinary and serum metabolome in children from six European populations, BMC Medicine, Vol: 16, ISSN: 1741-7015

BackgroundEnvironment and diet in early life can affect development and health throughout the life course. Metabolic phenotyping of urine and serum represents a complementary systems-wide approach to elucidate environment–health interactions. However, large-scale metabolome studies in children combining analyses of these biological fluids are lacking. Here, we sought to characterise the major determinants of the child metabolome and to define metabolite associations with age, sex, BMI and dietary habits in European children, by exploiting a unique biobank established as part of the Human Early-Life Exposome project (http://www.projecthelix.eu).MethodsMetabolic phenotypes of matched urine and serum samples from 1192 children (aged 6–11) recruited from birth cohorts in six European countries were measured using high-throughput 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and a targeted LC-MS/MS metabolomic assay (Biocrates AbsoluteIDQ p180 kit).ResultsWe identified both urinary and serum creatinine to be positively associated with age. Metabolic associations to BMI z-score included a novel association with urinary 4-deoxyerythronic acid in addition to valine, serum carnitine, short-chain acylcarnitines (C3, C5), glutamate, BCAAs, lysophosphatidylcholines (lysoPC a C14:0, lysoPC a C16:1, lysoPC a C18:1, lysoPC a C18:2) and sphingolipids (SM C16:0, SM C16:1, SM C18:1). Dietary-metabolite associations included urinary creatine and serum phosphatidylcholines (4) with meat intake, serum phosphatidylcholines (12) with fish, urinary hippurate with vegetables, and urinary proline betaine and hippurate with fruit intake. Population-specific variance (age, sex, BMI, ethnicity, dietary and country of origin) was better captured in the serum than in the urine profile; these factors explained a median of 9.0% variance amongst serum metabolites versus a median of 5.1% amongst urinary metabolites. Metabolic pathway correlations were identified, and concentrations of

Journal article

Ahmetaj-Shala B, Olanipekun M, Tesfai A, MacCallum N, Kirkby N, Qunilan G, Shih C-C, Kawai R, Mumby S, Paul-Clark M, Want E, Mitchell JAet al., 2018, Development of a novel UPLC-MS/MS-based platform to quantify amines, amino acids and methylarginines for applications in human disease phenotyping, Scientific Reports, Vol: 8, ISSN: 2045-2322

Amine quantification is an important strategy in patient stratification and personalised medicine. This is because amines, including amino acids and methylarginines impact on many homeostatic processes. One important pathway regulated by amine levels is nitric oxide synthase (NOS). NOS is regulated by levels of (i) the substrate, arginine, (ii) amino acids which cycle with arginine and (iii) methylarginine inhibitors of NOS. However, biomarker research in this area is hindered by the lack of a unified analytical platform. Thus, the development of a common metabolomics platform, where a wide range of amino acids and methylarginines can be measured constitutes an important unmet need. Here we report a novel high-throughput ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS) platform where ≈40 amine analytes, including arginine and methylarginines can be detected and quantified on a molar basis, in a single sample of human plasma. To validate the platform and to generate biomarkers, human plasma from a well-defined cohort of patients before and after coronary artery bypass surgery, who developed systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS), were analysed. Bypass surgery with SIRS significantly altered 26 amine analytes, including arginine and ADMA. Consequently, pathway analysis revealed significant changes in a range of pathways including those associated with NOS.

Journal article

Law TH, Volk HA, Pan Y, Zanghi B, Want EJet al., 2018, Metabolic perturbations associated with the consumption of a ketogenic medium-chain TAG diet in dogs with idiopathic epilepsy, British Journal of Nutrition, Vol: 120, Pages: 484-490, ISSN: 1475-2662

Consumption of diets containing medium-chain TAG (MCT) has been shown to confer neuroprotective effects. We aim to identify the global metabolic perturbations associated with consumption of a ketogenic diet (medium-chain TAG diet (MCTD)) in dogs with idiopathic epilepsy. We used ultra-performance liquid chromatography-MS (UPLC-MS) to generate metabolic and lipidomic profiles of fasted canine serum and made comparisons between the MCTD and standardised placebo diet phases. We identified metabolites that differed significantly between diet phases using metabolite fragmentation profiles generated by tandem MS (UPLC–MS/MS). Consumption of the MCTD resulted in significant differences in serum metabolic profiles when compared with the placebo diet, where sixteen altered lipid metabolites were identified. Consumption of the MCTD resulted in reduced abundances of palmitoylcarnitine, octadecenoylcarnitine, stearoylcarnitine and significant changes, both reduced and increased abundances, of phosphatidylcholine (PC) metabolites. There was a significant increase in abundance of the saturated C17 : 0 fatty acyl moieties during the MCTD phase. Lysophosphatidylcholine (17 : 0) (P=0·01) and PC (17:0/20:4) (P=0·03) were both significantly higher in abundance during the MCTD. The data presented in this study highlight global changes in lipid metabolism, and, of particular interest, in the C17 : 0 moieties, as a result of MCT consumption. Elucidating the global metabolic response of MCT consumption will not only improve the administration of current ketogenic diets for neurological disease models but also provides new avenues for research to develop better diet therapies with improved neuroprotective efficacies. Future studies should clarify the involvement and importance of C17 : 0 moieties in endogenous MCT metabolic pathways.

Journal article

Martin G, Kolida S, Marchesi J, Want E, Sidaway J, Swann JRet al., 2018, In vitro modeling of bile acid processing by the human fecal microbiota, Frontiers in Microbiology, Vol: 9, ISSN: 1664-302X

Bile acids, the products of concerted host and gut bacterial metabolism, have important signaling functions within the mammalian metabolic system and a key role in digestion. Given the complexity of the mega-variate bacterial community residing in the gastrointestinal tract, studying associations between individual bacterial genera and bile acid processing remains a challenge. Here, we present a novel in vitro approach to determine the bacterial genera associated with the metabolism of different primary bile acids and their potential to contribute to inter-individual variation in this processing. Anaerobic, pH-controlled batch cultures were inoculated with human fecal microbiota and treated with individual conjugated primary bile acids (500 μg/ml) to serve as the sole substrate for 24 h. Samples were collected throughout the experiment (0, 5, 10, and 24 h) and the bacterial composition was determined by 16S rRNA gene sequencing and the bile acid signatures were characterized using a targeted ultra-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS) approach. Data fusion techniques were used to identify statistical bacterial-metabolic linkages. An increase in gut bacteria associated bile acids was observed over 24 h with variation in the rate of bile acid metabolism across the volunteers (n = 7). Correlation analysis identified a significant association between the Gemmiger genus and the deconjugation of glycine conjugated bile acids while the deconjugation of taurocholic acid was associated with bacteria from the Eubacterium and Ruminococcus genera. A positive correlation between Dorea and deoxycholic acid production suggest a potential role for this genus in cholic acid dehydroxylation. A slower deconjugation of taurocholic acid was observed in individuals with a greater abundance of Parasutterella and Akkermansia. This work demonstrates the utility of integrating compositional (metataxonomics) and functional (metabonomics) systems biology approaches

Journal article

Want EJ, 2018, LC-MS Untargeted Analysis., Methods Mol Biol, Vol: 1738, Pages: 99-116

LC-MS untargeted analysis is a valuable tool in the field of metabolic profiling (metabonomics/metabolomics), and the applications of this technology have grown rapidly over the past decade. LC-MS offers advantages over other analytical platforms such as speed, sensitivity, relative ease of sample preparation, and large dynamic range. As with any analytical approach, there are still drawbacks and challenges to overcome, but advances are constantly being made regarding both column chemistries and instrumentation. There are numerous untargeted LC-MS approaches which can be used in this ever-growing research field; these can be optimized depending on sample type and the nature of the study or biological question. Some of the main LC-MS approaches for the untargeted analysis of biological samples will be described in detail in the following protocol.

Journal article

Tesfai A, MacCallum N, Kirkby NS, Gashaw H, Gray N, Quinlan G, Mumby S, Leiper JM, Paul-Clark M, Ahmetaj-Shala B, Mitchell JAet al., 2017, Metabolomic profiling of amines in sepsis predicts changes in NOS canonical pathways, PLoS ONE, Vol: 12, ISSN: 1932-6203

RationaleNitric oxide synthase (NOS) is a biomarker/target in sepsis. NOS activity is driven by amino acids, which cycle to regulate the substrate L-arginine in parallel with cycles which regulate the endogenous inhibitors ADMA and L-NMMA. The relationship between amines and the consequence of plasma changes on iNOS activity in early sepsis is not known.ObjectiveOur objective was to apply a metabolomics approach to determine the influence of sepsis on a full array of amines and what consequence these changes may have on predicted iNOS activity.Methods and measurements34 amino acids were measured using ultra purification mass spectrometry in the plasma of septic patients (n = 38) taken at the time of diagnosis and 24–72 hours post diagnosis and of healthy volunteers (n = 21). L-arginine and methylarginines were measured using liquid-chromatography mass spectrometry and ELISA. A top down approach was also taken to examine the most changed metabolic pathways by Ingenuity Pathway Analysis. The iNOS supporting capacity of plasma was determined using a mouse macrophage cell-based bioassay.Main resultsOf all the amines measured 22, including L-arginine and ADMA, displayed significant differences in samples from patients with sepsis. The functional consequence of increased ADMA and decreased L-arginine in context of all cumulative metabolic changes in plasma resulted in reduced iNOS supporting activity associated with sepsis.ConclusionsIn early sepsis profound changes in amine levels were defined by dominant changes in the iNOS canonical pathway resulting in functionally meaningful changes in the ability of plasma to regulate iNOS activity ex vivo.

Journal article

Maitre L, Lau C-HE, Vizcaino E, Robinson O, Casas M, Siskos AP, Want EJ, Athersuch T, Slama R, Vrijheid M, Keun HC, Coen Met al., 2017, Assessment of metabolic phenotypic variability in children's urine using H-1 NMR spectroscopy, Scientific Reports, Vol: 7, ISSN: 2045-2322

The application of metabolic phenotyping in clinical and epidemiological studies is limited by a poor understanding of inter-individual, intra-individual and temporal variability in metabolic phenotypes. Using 1H NMR spectroscopy we characterised short-term variability in urinary metabolites measured from 20 children aged 8–9 years old. Daily spot morning, night-time and pooled (50:50 morning and night-time) urine samples across six days (18 samples per child) were analysed, and 44 metabolites quantified. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) and mixed effect models were applied to assess the reproducibility and biological variance of metabolic phenotypes. Excellent analytical reproducibility and precision was demonstrated for the 1H NMR spectroscopic platform (median CV 7.2%). Pooled samples captured the best inter-individual variability with an ICC of 0.40 (median). Trimethylamine, N-acetyl neuraminic acid, 3-hydroxyisobutyrate, 3-hydroxybutyrate/3-aminoisobutyrate, tyrosine, valine and 3-hydroxyisovalerate exhibited the highest stability with over 50% of variance specific to the child. The pooled sample was shown to capture the most inter-individual variance in the metabolic phenotype, which is of importance for molecular epidemiology study design. A substantial proportion of the variation in the urinary metabolome of children is specific to the individual, underlining the potential of such data to inform clinical and exposome studies conducted early in life.

Journal article

Tesfai A, Shala BA, Shala F, Gashaw H, Quinlan G, MacCallum N, Mumby S, Gray N, Want E, Kirkby N, Leiper J, Mitchell Jet al., 2017, Plasma Taurine Levels At Early Diagnosis Predict Survival, International Conference of the American-Thoracic-Society (ATS), Publisher: AMER THORACIC SOC, ISSN: 1073-449X

Conference paper

Robinson O, Toledano MB, Sands C, Beckonert O, Want EJ, Goldin R, Hauser ML, Fenwick A, Thursz MR, Coen Met al., 2016, Global metabolic changes induced by plant-derived pyrrolizidine alkaloids following a human poisoning outbreak and in a mouse model, Toxicology Research, Vol: 5, Pages: 1594-1603, ISSN: 2045-4538

Several hundred cases of Hirmi Valley Liver Disease (HVLD), an often fatal liver injury, occurred from 2001 to 2011 in a cluster of rural villages in Tigray, Ethiopia. HVLD is principally caused by contamination of the food supply with plant derived pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs), with high exposure to the pesticide DDT among villagers increasing their susceptibility. In an untargeted global approach we aimed to identify metabolic changes induced by PA exposure through 1H NMR spectroscopic based metabolic profiling. We analysed spectra acquired from urine collected from HVLD cases and controls and a murine model of PA exposure and PA/DDT co-exposure, using multivariate partial least squares discriminant analysis. In the human models we identified changes in urinary concentrations of tyrosine, pyruvate, bile acids, N-acetylglycoproteins, N-methylnicotinamide and formate, hippurate, p-cresol sulphate, p-hydroxybenzoate and 3-(3-hydroxyphenyl) propionic acid. Tyrosine and p-cresol sulphate were associated with both exposure and disease. Similar changes to tyrosine, one-carbon intermediates and microbial associated metabolites were observed in the mouse model, with tyrosine correlated with the extent of liver damage. These results provide mechanistic insight and implicate the gut microflora in the human response to challenge with toxins. Pathways identified here may be useful in translational research and as “exposome” signals.

Journal article

Anwar MA, Vorkas PA, Li J, Adesina-Georgiadis KN, Reslan OM, Raffetto JD, Want EJ, Khalil RA, Holmes E, Davies AHet al., 2016, Prolonged Mechanical Circumferential Stretch Induces Metabolic Changes in Rat Inferior Vena Cava, EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF VASCULAR AND ENDOVASCULAR SURGERY, Vol: 52, Pages: 544-552, ISSN: 1078-5884

Journal article

Vorkas PA, Shalhoub J, Lewis MR, Spagou K, Want EJ, Nicholson JK, Davies AH, Holmes Eet al., 2016, Metabolic Phenotypes of Carotid Atherosclerotic Plaques Relate to Stroke Risk – An Exploratory Study, European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Vol: 52, Pages: 5-10, ISSN: 1532-2165

Objectives: Stroke is a major cause of death and disability. The fact that three-quarters of stroke patients will never have previously manifested cerebrovascular symptoms demonstrates the unmet clinical need for new biomarkers able to stratify patient risk and elucidation of the biological dysregulations. In this study, we assess the utility of comprehensive metabolic phenotyping to provide candidate biomarkers that relate to stroke risk in stenosing carotid plaque tissue samples.Design: Carotid plaque tissue samples were obtained from patients with cerebrovascular symptoms of carotid origin (n=5), and asymptomatic patients (n=5). Two adjacent biological replicates were obtained from each tissue.Materials and Methods: Organic and aqueous metabolite extracts were separately obtained and analysed using two ultra performance liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry metabolic profiling methods. Multivariate and univariate tools were utilised for statistical analysis.Results: The two studied groups demonstrated distinct plaque phenotypes using multivariate data analysis. Univariate statistics also revealed metabolites that differentiated the two groups with a strong statistical significance (p=10-4-10-5). Specifically, metabolites related to the eicosanoid pathway (arachidonic acid and arachidonic acid precursors), and three acylcarnitine species (butyrylcarnitine, hexanoylcarnitine and palmitoylcarnitine), intermediates of the β-oxidation, were detected in higher intensities in symptomatic patients. However, metabolites implicated in the process of cell death, a process known to be upregulated in the formation of the vulnerable plaque, were unaffected.Conclusions: Discrimination between symptomatic and asymptomatic carotid plaque tissue is demonstrated for the first time using metabolic profiling technologies. Two biological pathways (eicosanoid and β-oxidation) were implicated and will be further investigated. These results indicate that metabolic

Journal article

Wesseling H, Xu B, Want EJ, Holmes E, Guest PC, Karayiorgou M, Gogos JA, Bahn Set al., 2016, System-based proteomic and metabonomic analysis of the Df(16)A(+/-) mouse identifies potential miR-185 targets and molecular pathway alterations, Molecular Psychiatry, Vol: 22, Pages: 384-395, ISSN: 1476-5578

Deletions on chromosome 22q11.2 are a strong genetic risk factor for development of schizophrenia and cognitive dysfunction. We employed shotgun liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) proteomic and metabonomic profiling approaches on prefrontal cortex (PFC) and hippocampal (HPC) tissue from Df(16)A(+/-) mice, a model of the 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. Proteomic results were compared with previous transcriptomic profiling studies of the same brain regions. The aim was to investigate how the combined effect of the 22q11.2 deletion and the corresponding miRNA dysregulation affects the cell biology at the systems level. The proteomic brain profiling analysis revealed PFC and HPC changes in various molecular pathways associated with chromatin remodelling and RNA transcription, indicative of an epigenetic component of the 22q11.2DS. Further, alterations in glycolysis/gluconeogenesis, mitochondrial function and lipid biosynthesis were identified. Metabonomic profiling substantiated the proteomic findings by identifying changes in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11.2DS)-related pathways, such as changes in ceramide phosphoethanolamines, sphingomyelin, carnitines, tyrosine derivates and panthothenic acid. The proteomic findings were confirmed using selected reaction monitoring mass spectrometry, validating decreased levels of several proteins encoded on 22q11.2, increased levels of the computationally predicted putative miR-185 targets UDP-N-acetylglucosamine-peptide N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase 110 kDa subunit (OGT1) and kinesin heavy chain isoform 5A and alterations in the non-miR-185 targets serine/threonine-protein phosphatase 2B catalytic subunit gamma isoform, neurofilament light chain and vesicular glutamate transporter 1. Furthermore, alterations in the proteins associated with mammalian target of rapamycin signalling were detected in the PFC and with glutamatergic signalling in the hippocampus. Based on the proteomic and metabonomic findings, we were

Journal article

Want E, Pape J, Nye L, Langer J, Atkinson A, Williamson C, Dixon Pet al., 2016, Placental Metabolomics: Methods and Applications., 63rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society-for-Reproductive-Investigation, Publisher: SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC, Pages: 151A-152A, ISSN: 1933-7191

Conference paper

Law TH, Davies ES, Pan Y, Zanghi B, Want E, Volk HAet al., 2016, A randomised trial of a medium-chain TAG diet as treatment for dogs with idiopathic epilepsy - CORRIGENDUM., British Journal of Nutrition, Vol: 115, Pages: 1696-1696, ISSN: 1475-2662

Journal article

McPhail MJW, Shawcross D, Lewis MR, Coltart I, Want E, Veselkov K, Abeles RD, Kyriakides M, Pop O, Triantafyllou E, Antoniades CG, Quaglia A, Bernal W, Auzinger G, Coen M, Nicholson J, Wendon JA, Holmes E, Taylor-Robinson SD, Jassem W, O'Grady J, Heaton Net al., 2016, Mutlivariate metabotyping of plasma accurately predicts survival in decompensated cirrhosis, Journal of Hepatology, Vol: 64, Pages: 1058-1067, ISSN: 1600-0641

Background & AimsPredicting survival in decompensated cirrhosis (DC) is important in decision making for liver transplantation and resource allocation. We investigated whether high-resolution metabolic profiling can determine a metabolic phenotype associated with 90-day survival.MethodsTwo hundred and forty-eight subjects underwent plasma metabotyping by 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and reversed-phase ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled to time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC-TOF-MS; DC: 80-derivation set, 101-validation; stable cirrhosis (CLD) 20 and 47 healthy controls (HC)).Results1H NMR metabotyping accurately discriminated between surviving and non-surviving patients with DC. The NMR plasma profiles of non-survivors were attributed to reduced phosphatidylcholines and lipid resonances, with increased lactate, tyrosine, methionine and phenylalanine signal intensities. This was confirmed on external validation (area under the receiver operating curve [AUROC] = 0.96 (95% CI 0.90–1.00, sensitivity 98%, specificity 89%). UPLC-TOF-MS confirmed that lysophosphatidylcholines and phosphatidylcholines [LPC/PC] were downregulated in non-survivors (UPLC-TOF-MS profiles AUROC of 0.94 (95% CI 0.89–0.98, sensitivity 100%, specificity 85% [positive ion detection])). LPC concentrations negatively correlated with circulating markers of cell death (M30 and M65) levels in DC. Histological examination of liver tissue from DC patients confirmed increased hepatocyte cell death compared to controls. Cross liver sampling at time of liver transplantation demonstrated that hepatic endothelial beds are a source of increased circulating total cytokeratin-18 in DC.ConclusionPlasma metabotyping accurately predicts mortality in DC. LPC and amino acid dysregulation is associated with increased mortality and severity of disease reflecting hepatocyte cell death.

Journal article

Shariff MIF, Tognarelli JM, Lewis MR, Want EJ, Mohamed FEZ, Ladep NG, Crossey MME, Khan SA, Jalan R, Holmes E, Taylor-Robinson SDet al., 2015, Plasma Lipid Profiling in a Rat Model of Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Potential Modulation Through Quinolone Administration, JOURNAL OF CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL HEPATOLOGY, Vol: 5, Pages: 286-294, ISSN: 0973-6883

Journal article

Law TH, Davies ESS, Pan Y, Zanghi B, Want E, Volk HAet al., 2015, A randomised trial of a medium-chain TAG diet as treatment for dogs with idiopathic epilepsy, British Journal of Nutrition, Vol: 114, Pages: 1438-1447, ISSN: 1475-2662

Journal article

Anwar MA, Vorkas PA, Li JV, Shalhoub J, Want EJ, Davies AH, Holmes Eet al., 2015, Optimization of metabolite extraction of human vein tissue for ultra performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance-based untargeted metabolic profiling, Analyst, Vol: 140, Pages: 7586-7597, ISSN: 1364-5528

Human vein tissue is an important matrix to examine when investigating vascular diseases with respect to understanding underlying disease mechanisms. Here, we report the development of an extraction protocol for multi-platform metabolic profiling of human vein tissue. For the first stage of the optimization, two different ratios of methanol/water and 5 organic solvents – namely dichloromethane, chloroform, isopropanol, hexane and methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) solutions with methanol – were tested for polar and organic compound extraction, respectively. The extraction output was assessed using 1H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and a panel of Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (UPLC-MS) methodologies. On the basis of the reproducibility of extraction replicates and metabolic coverage, the optimal aqueous (methanol/water) and organic (MTBE/methanol) solvents identified from the first stage were used in a sequential approach for metabolite extraction, altering the order of solvent-mixture addition. The combination of organic metabolite extraction with MTBE/methanol (3 : 1) followed by extraction of polar compounds with methanol/water (1 : 1) was shown to be the best method for extracting metabolites from human vein tissue in terms of reproducibility and number of signals detected and could be used as a single extraction procedure to serve both NMR and UPLC-MS analyses. Molecular classes such as triacylglycerols, phosphatidylcholines, phosphatidylethanolamines, sphingolipids, purines, and pyrimidines were reproducibly extracted. This study enabled an optimal extraction protocol for robust and more comprehensive metabolome coverage for human vein tissue. Many of the physiological and pathological processes affecting the composition of human vein tissue are common to other tissues and hence the extraction method developed in this study can be generically applied.

Journal article

Vorkas PA, Isaac G, Holmgren A, Want EJ, Shockcor JP, Holmes E, Henein MYet al., 2015, Perturbations in fatty acid metabolism and apoptosis are manifested in calcific coronary artery disease: An exploratory lipidomics study, International Journal of Cardiology, Vol: 197, Pages: 192-199, ISSN: 1874-1754

BackgroundControversy exists concerning the beneficial or harmful effects of the presence of ectopic calcification in the coronary arteries. Additionally, further elucidation of the exact pathophysiological mechanism is needed. In this study, we sought to identify metabolic markers of vascular calcification that could assist in understanding the disease, monitoring its progress and generating hypotheses describing its pathophysiology.MethodsUntargeted lipid profiling and complementary modeling strategies were employed to compare serum samples from patients with different levels of calcific coronary artery disease (CCAD) based on their calcium score (CS). Subsequently, patients were divided into three groups: no calcification (NC; CS = 0; n = 26), mild calcification (MC; CS:1–250; n = 27) and severe (SC; CS > 250; n = 17).ResultsPhosphatidylcholine levels were found to be significantly altered in the disease states (p = 0.001–0.04). Specifically, 18-carbon fatty acyl chain (FAC) phosphatidylcholines were detected in lower levels in the SC group, while 20:4 FAC lipid species were detected in higher concentrations. A statistical trend was observed with phosphatidylcholine lipids in the MC group, showing the same tendency as with the SC group. We also observed several sphingomyelin signals present at lower intensities in SC when compared with NC or MC groups (p = 0.000001–0.01).ConclusionsThis is the first lipid profiling study reported in CCAD. Our data demonstrate dysregulations of phosphatidylcholine lipid species, which suggest perturbations in fatty acid elongation/desaturation. The altered levels of the 18-carbon and 20:4 FAC lipids may be indicative of disturbed inflammation homeostasis. The marked sphingomyelin dysregulation in SC is consistent with profound apoptosis as a potential mechanism of CCAD.

Journal article

Want EJ, Wesseling H, Bahn S, Holmes E, Guest P, Rahmoune Het al., 2015, Hippocampal Proteomic and Metabonomic Abnormalities in Neurotransmission, Oxidative Stress, and Apoptotic Pathways in a Chronic Phencyclidine Rat Model, Journal of Proteome Research, Vol: 14, Pages: 3174-3187, ISSN: 1535-3907

Schizophrenia is a neuropsychiatric disorder affecting 1% of the world’s population. Due to both a broad range of symptoms and disease heterogeneity, current therapeutic approaches to treat schizophrenia fail to address all symptomatic manifestations of the disease. Therefore, disease models that reproduce core pathological features of schizophrenia are needed for the elucidation of pathological disease mechanisms. Here, we employ a comprehensive global label-free liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry proteomic (LC–MSE) and metabonomic (LC–MS) profiling analysis combined with the targeted proteomics (selected reaction monitoring and multiplex immunoassay) of serum and brain tissues to investigate a chronic phencyclidine (PCP) rat model in which glutamatergic hypofunction is induced through noncompetitive NMDAR-receptor antagonism. Using a multiplex immunoassay, we identified alterations in the levels of several cytokines (IL-5, IL-2, and IL-1β) and fibroblast growth factor-2. Extensive proteomic and metabonomic brain tissue profiling revealed a more prominent effect of chronic PCP treatment on both the hippocampal proteome and metabonome compared to the effect on the frontal cortex. Bioinformatic pathway analysis confirmed prominent abnormalities in NMDA-receptor-associated pathways in both brain regions, as well as alterations in other neurotransmitter systems such as kainate, AMPA, and GABAergic signaling in the hippocampus and in proteins associated with neurodegeneration. We further identified abundance changes in the level of the superoxide dismutase enzyme (SODC) in both the frontal cortex and hippocampus, which indicates alterations in oxidative stress and substantiates the apoptotic pathway alterations. The present study could lead to an increased understanding of how perturbed glutamate receptor signaling affects other relevant biological pathways in schizophrenia and, therefore, support drug discovery efforts for the improved

Journal article

Chekmeneva E, Correia G, Denes J, Gomez-Romero M, Wijeyesekera A, Perenyi DR, Koot Y, Boomsma C, Want EJ, Dixon PH, Macklon NS, Chan Q, Takats Z, Nicholson JK, Holmes Eet al., 2015, Development of nanoelectrospray high resolution isotope dilution mass spectrometry for targeted quantitative analysis of urinary metabolites: application to population profiling and clinical studies, Analytical Methods, Vol: 7, Pages: 5122-5133, ISSN: 1759-9679

An automated chip-based electrospray platform was used to develop a high-throughput nanoelectrospray high resolution mass spectrometry (nESI-HRMS) method for multiplexed parallel untargeted and targeted quantitative metabolic analysis of urine samples. The method was demonstrated to be suitable for metabolic analysis of large sample numbers and can be applied to large-scale epidemiological and stratified medicine studies. The method requires a small amount of sample (5 μL of injectable volume containing 250 nL of original sample), and the analysis time for each sample is three minutes per sample to acquire data in both negative and positive ion modes. Identification of metabolites was based on the high resolution accurate mass and tandem mass spectrometry using authentic standards. The method was validated for 8 targeted metabolites and was shown to be precise and accurate. The mean accuracy of individual measurements being 106% and the intra- and inter-day precision (expressed as relative standard deviations) were 9% and 14%, respectively. Selected metabolites were quantified by standard addition calibration using the stable isotope labelled internal standards in a pooled urine sample, to account for any matrix effect. The multiple point standard addition calibration curves yielded correlation coefficients greater than 0.99, and the linear dynamic range was more than three orders of magnitude. As a proof-of-concept the developed method was applied for targeted quantitative analysis of a set of 101 urine samples obtained from female participants with different pregnancy outcomes. In addition to the specifically targeted metabolites, several other metabolites were quantified relative to the internal standards. Based on the calculated concentrations, some metabolites showed significant differences according to different pregnancy outcomes. The acquired high resolution full-scan data were used for further untargeted fingerprinting and improved the differentiation of

Journal article

Vorkas PA, Shalhoub J, Isaac G, Want EJ, Nicholson JK, Holmes E, Davies AHet al., 2015, Metabolic Phenotyping of Atherosclerotic Plaques Reveals Latent Associations between Free Cholesterol and Ceramide Metabolism in Atherogenesis., Journal of Proteome Research, Vol: 14, Pages: 1389-1399, ISSN: 1535-3907

Current optimum medical treatments have had limited success in the primary prevention of cardiovascular events, underscoring the need for new pharmaceutical targets and enhanced understanding of mechanistic metabolic dysregulation. Here, we use a combination of novel metabolic profiling methodologies, based on ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS) followed by chemometric modeling, data integration, and pathway mapping, to create a systems-level metabolic atlas of atherogenesis. We apply this workflow to compare arterial tissue incorporating plaque lesions to intimal thickening tissue (immediate preplaque stage). We find changes in several metabolite species consistent with well-established pathways in atherosclerosis, such as the cholesterol, purine, pyrimidine, and ceramide pathways. We then illustrate differential levels of previously unassociated lipids to atherogenesis, namely, phosphatidylethanolamine-ceramides (t-test p-values: 3.8 × 10(-6) to 9.8 × 10(-12)). Most importantly, these molecules appear to be interfacing two pathways recognized for their involvement in atherosclerosis: ceramide and cholesterol. Furthermore, we show that β-oxidation intermediates (i.e., acylcarnitines) manifest a pattern indicating truncation of the process and overall dysregulation of fatty acid metabolism and mitochondrial dysfunction. We develop a metabolic framework that offers the ability to map significant statistical associations between detected biomarkers. These dysregulated molecules and consequent pathway modulations may provide novel targets for pharmacotherapeutic intervention.

Journal article

Vorkas PA, Isaac G, Anwar MA, Davies AH, Want EJ, Nicholson JK, Holmes Eet al., 2015, Untargeted UPLC-MS Profiling Pipeline to Expand Tissue Metabolome Coverage: Application to Cardiovascular Disease., Analytical Chemistry, Vol: 87, Pages: 4184-4193, ISSN: 1086-4377

Metabolic profiling studies aim to achieve broad metabolome coverage in specific biological samples. However, wide metabolome coverage has proven difficult to achieve, mostly because of the diverse physicochemical properties of small molecules, obligating analysts to seek multiplatform and multimethod approaches. Challenges are even greater when it comes to applications to tissue samples, where tissue lysis and metabolite extraction can induce significant systematic variation in composition. We have developed a pipeline for obtaining the aqueous and organic compounds from diseased arterial tissue using two consecutive extractions, followed by a different untargeted UPLC-MS analysis method for each extract. Methods were rationally chosen and optimized to address the different physicochemical properties of each extract: hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC) for the aqueous extract and reversed-phase chromatography for the organic. This pipeline can be generic for tissue analysis as demonstrated by applications to different tissue types. The experimental setup and fast turnaround time of the two methods contributed toward obtaining highly reproducible features with exceptional chromatographic performance (CV % < 0.5%), making this pipeline suitable for metabolic profiling applications. We structurally assigned 226 metabolites from a range of chemical classes (e.g., carnitines, α-amino acids, purines, pyrimidines, phospholipids, sphingolipids, free fatty acids, and glycerolipids) which were mapped to their corresponding pathways, biological functions and known disease mechanisms. The combination of the two untargeted UPLC-MS methods showed high metabolite complementarity. We demonstrate the application of this pipeline to cardiovascular disease, where we show that the analyzed diseased groups (n = 120) of arterial tissue could be distinguished based on their metabolic profiles.

Journal article

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