Folate status modulates the induction of hepatic glycine N-methyltransferase and homocysteine metabolism in diabetic rats

Kristin M. Nieman, Cara S. Hartz, Sandra S. Szegedi, Timothy A. Garrow, Janet D. Sparks, Kevin L. Schalinske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A diabetic state induces the activity and abundance of glycine N-methyltransferase (GNMT), a key protein in the regulation of folate, methyl group, and homocysteine metabolism. Because the folate-dependent one-carbon pool is a source of methyl groups and 5-methyltetrahydrofolate allosterically inhibits GNMT, the aim of this study was to determine whether folate status has an impact on the interaction between diabetes and methyl group metabolism. Rats were fed a diet containing deficient (0 ppm), adequate (2 ppm), or supplemental (8 ppm) folate for 30 days, after which diabetes was initiated in one-half of the rats by streptozotocin treatment. The activities of GNMT, phosphatidylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PEMT), and betaine-homocysteine S-methyltransferase (BHMT) were increased about twofold in diabetic rat liver; folate deficiency resulted in the greatest elevation in GNMT activity. The abundance of GNMT protein and mRNA, as well as BHMT mRNA, was also elevated in diabetic rats. The marked hyperhomocysteinemia in folate-deficient rats was attenuated by streptozotocin, likely due in part to increased BHMT expression. These results indicate that a diabetic state profoundly modulates methyl group, choline, and homocysteine metabolism, and folate status may play a role in the extent of these alterations. Moreover, the upregulation of BHMT and PEMT may indicate an increased choline requirement in the diabetic rat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E1235-E1242
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Volume291
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2006

Keywords

  • Betaine-homocysteine S-methyltransferase
  • Choline
  • Phosphatidylethanolamine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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