Comparative metabolomics in primates reveals the effects of diet and gene regulatory variation on metabolic divergence

Ran Blekhman, George H. Perry, Sevini Shahbaz, Oliver Fiehn, Andrew G. Clark, Yoav Gilad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Human diets differ from those of non-human primates. Among few obvious differences, humans consume more meat than most non-human primates and regularly cook their food. It is hypothesized that a dietary shift during human evolution has been accompanied by molecular adaptations in metabolic pathways. Consistent with this notion, comparative studies of gene expression levels in primates have found that the regulation of genes with metabolic functions tend to evolve rapidly in the human lineage. The metabolic consequences of these regulatory differences, however, remained unknown. To address this gap, we performed a comparative study using a combination of gene expression and metabolomic profiling in livers from humans, chimpanzees, and rhesus macaques. We show that dietary differences between species have a strong effect on metabolic concentrations. In addition, we found that differences in metabolic concentration across species are correlated with inter-species differences in the expression of the corresponding enzymes, which control the same metabolic reaction. We identified a number of metabolic compounds with lineage-specific profiles, including examples of human-species metabolic differences that may be directly related to dietary differences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5809
JournalScientific Reports
Volume4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 28 2014

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Metabolomics
Regulator Genes
Primates
Diet
Pan troglodytes
Gene Expression Profiling
Metabolic Networks and Pathways
Macaca mulatta
Meat
Gene Expression
Food
Liver
Enzymes
Genes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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Comparative metabolomics in primates reveals the effects of diet and gene regulatory variation on metabolic divergence. / Blekhman, Ran; Perry, George H.; Shahbaz, Sevini; Fiehn, Oliver; Clark, Andrew G.; Gilad, Yoav.

In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 4, 5809, 28.07.2014.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Blekhman, Ran ; Perry, George H. ; Shahbaz, Sevini ; Fiehn, Oliver ; Clark, Andrew G. ; Gilad, Yoav. / Comparative metabolomics in primates reveals the effects of diet and gene regulatory variation on metabolic divergence. In: Scientific Reports. 2014 ; Vol. 4.
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