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Combined Omics Reveals That Disruption of the Selenocysteine Lyase Gene Affects Amino Acid Pathways in Mice

Seale, Lucia A., Khadka, Vedbar S., Menor, Mark, Xie, Guoxiang, Watanabe, Ligia M., Sasuclark, Alexandru, Guirguis, Kyrillos, Ha, Herena Y., Hashimoto, Ann C., Peplowska, Karolina, Tiirikainen, Maarit, Jia, Wei, Berry, Marla J., Deng, Youping
Nutrients 2019 v.11 no.11
alanine, amino acid metabolism, biochemical pathways, females, gene expression regulation, gene targeting, genes, glucose, glycine (amino acid), hepatocytes, homeostasis, hyperinsulinemia, hyperlipidemia, lipids, liver, males, metabolites, metabolomics, mice, obesity, redox reactions, selenides, selenium, selenocysteine, selenoproteins, sequence analysis
Selenium is a nonmetal trace element that is critical for several redox reactions and utilized to produce the amino acid selenocysteine (Sec), which can be incorporated into selenoproteins. Selenocysteine lyase (SCL) is an enzyme which decomposes Sec into selenide and alanine, releasing the selenide to be further utilized to synthesize new selenoproteins. Disruption of the selenocysteine lyase gene (Scly) in mice (Scly−/− or Scly KO) led to obesity with dyslipidemia, hyperinsulinemia, glucose intolerance and lipid accumulation in the hepatocytes. As the liver is a central regulator of glucose and lipid homeostasis, as well as selenium metabolism, we aimed to pinpoint hepatic molecular pathways affected by the Scly gene disruption. Using RNA sequencing and metabolomics, we identified differentially expressed genes and metabolites in the livers of Scly KO mice. Integrated omics revealed that biological pathways related to amino acid metabolism, particularly alanine and glycine metabolism, were affected in the liver by disruption of Scly in mice with selenium adequacy. We further confirmed that hepatic glycine levels are elevated in male, but not in female, Scly KO mice. In conclusion, our results reveal that Scly participates in the modulation of hepatic amino acid metabolic pathways.