Publications by authors named "Michelle Arlotto"

11 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

The Pediatric Obesity Microbiome and Metabolism Study (POMMS): Methods, Baseline Data, and Early Insights.

Obesity (Silver Spring) 2021 Mar;29(3):569-578

Department of Pediatrics, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to establish a biorepository of clinical, metabolomic, and microbiome samples from adolescents with obesity as they undergo lifestyle modification.

Methods: A total of 223 adolescents aged 10 to 18 years with BMI ≥95th percentile were enrolled, along with 71 healthy weight participants. Clinical data, fasting serum, and fecal samples were collected at repeated intervals over 6 months. Herein, the study design, data collection methods, and interim analysis-including targeted serum metabolite measurements and fecal 16S ribosomal RNA gene amplicon sequencing among adolescents with obesity (n = 27) and healthy weight controls (n = 27)-are presented.

Results: Adolescents with obesity have higher serum alanine aminotransferase, C-reactive protein, and glycated hemoglobin, and they have lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol when compared with healthy weight controls. Metabolomics revealed differences in branched-chain amino acid-related metabolites. Also observed was a differential abundance of specific microbial taxa and lower species diversity among adolescents with obesity when compared with the healthy weight group.

Conclusions: The Pediatric Metabolism and Microbiome Study (POMMS) biorepository is available as a shared resource. Early findings suggest evidence of a metabolic signature of obesity unique to adolescents, along with confirmation of previously reported findings that describe metabolic and microbiome markers of obesity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/oby.23081DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7927749PMC
March 2021

Creation of versatile cloning platforms for transgene expression and dCas9-based epigenome editing.

Nucleic Acids Res 2019 02;47(4):e23

Sarah W. Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center, Duke Molecular Physiology Institute, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27701, USA.

Genetic manipulation via transgene overexpression, RNAi, or Cas9-based methods is central to biomedical research. Unfortunately, use of these tools is often limited by vector options. We have created a modular platform (pMVP) that allows a gene of interest to be studied in the context of an array of promoters, epitope tags, conditional expression modalities, and fluorescent reporters, packaged in 35 custom destination vectors, including adenovirus, lentivirus, PiggyBac transposon, and Sleeping Beauty transposon, in aggregate >108,000 vector permutations. We also used pMVP to build an epigenetic engineering platform, pMAGIC, that packages multiple gRNAs and either Sa-dCas9 or x-dCas9(3.7) fused to one of five epigenetic modifiers. Importantly, via its compatibility with adenoviral vectors, pMAGIC uniquely enables use of dCas9/LSD1 fusions to interrogate enhancers within primary cells. To demonstrate this, we used pMAGIC to target Sa-dCas9/LSD1 and modify the epigenetic status of a conserved enhancer, resulting in altered expression of the homeobox transcription factor PDX1 and its target genes in pancreatic islets and insulinoma cells. In sum, the pMVP and pMAGIC systems empower researchers to rapidly generate purpose-built, customized vectors for manipulation of gene expression, including via targeted epigenetic modification of regulatory elements in a broad range of disease-relevant cell types.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gky1286DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6393299PMC
February 2019

HDAC1 overexpression enhances β-cell proliferation by down-regulating Cdkn1b/p27.

Biochem J 2018 12 19;475(24):3997-4010. Epub 2018 Dec 19.

Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Science Department, College of Life Sciences, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602, U.S.A.

The homeobox transcription factor Nkx6.1 is sufficient to increase functional β-cell mass, where functional β-cell mass refers to the combination of β-cell proliferation, glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) and β-cell survival. Here, we demonstrate that the histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1), which is an early target of Nkx6.1, is sufficient to increase functional β-cell mass. We show that HDAC activity is necessary for Nkx6.1-mediated proliferation, and that HDAC1 is sufficient to increase β-cell proliferation in primary rat islets and the INS-1 832/13 β-cell line. The increase in HDAC1-mediated proliferation occurs while maintaining GSIS and increasing β-cell survival in response to apoptotic stimuli. We demonstrate that HDAC1 overexpression results in decreased expression of the cell cycle inhibitor Cdkn1b/p27 which is essential for inhibiting the G1 to S phase transition of the cell cycle. This corresponds with increased expression of key cell cycle activators, such as Cyclin A2, Cyclin B1 and E2F1, which are activated by activation of the Cdk4/Cdk6/Cyclin D holoenzymes due to down-regulation of Cdkn1b/p27. Finally, we demonstrate that overexpression of Cdkn1b/p27 inhibits HDAC1-mediated β-cell proliferation. Our data suggest that HDAC1 is critical for the Nkx6.1-mediated pathway that enhances functional β-cell mass.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/BCJ20180465DOI Listing
December 2018

The BCKDH Kinase and Phosphatase Integrate BCAA and Lipid Metabolism via Regulation of ATP-Citrate Lyase.

Cell Metab 2018 Jun 17;27(6):1281-1293.e7. Epub 2018 May 17.

Sarah W. Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center & Duke Molecular Physiology Institute, Duke University Medical Center, 300 North Duke Street, Durham, NC 27701, USA; Departments of Medicine and Pharmacology & Cancer Biology, Durham, NC 27701, USA. Electronic address:

Branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) are strongly associated with dysregulated glucose and lipid metabolism, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. We report that inhibition of the kinase (BDK) or overexpression of the phosphatase (PPM1K) that regulates branched-chain ketoacid dehydrogenase (BCKDH), the committed step of BCAA catabolism, lowers circulating BCAA, reduces hepatic steatosis, and improves glucose tolerance in the absence of weight loss in Zucker fatty rats. Phosphoproteomics analysis identified ATP-citrate lyase (ACL) as an alternate substrate of BDK and PPM1K. Hepatic overexpression of BDK increased ACL phosphorylation and activated de novo lipogenesis. BDK and PPM1K transcript levels were increased and repressed, respectively, in response to fructose feeding or expression of the ChREBP-β transcription factor. These studies identify BDK and PPM1K as a ChREBP-regulated node that integrates BCAA and lipid metabolism. Moreover, manipulation of the BDK:PPM1K ratio relieves key metabolic disease phenotypes in a genetic model of severe obesity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2018.04.015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5990471PMC
June 2018

A Pdx-1-Regulated Soluble Factor Activates Rat and Human Islet Cell Proliferation.

Mol Cell Biol 2016 12 14;36(23):2918-2930. Epub 2016 Nov 14.

Sarah W. Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center and Duke Molecular Physiology Institute, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA

The homeodomain transcription factor Pdx-1 has important roles in pancreas and islet development as well as in β-cell function and survival. We previously reported that Pdx-1 overexpression stimulates islet cell proliferation, but the mechanism remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate that overexpression of Pdx-1 triggers proliferation largely by a non-cell-autonomous mechanism mediated by soluble factors. Consistent with this idea, overexpression of Pdx-1 under the control of a β-cell-specific promoter (rat insulin promoter [RIP]) stimulates proliferation of both α and β cells, and overexpression of Pdx-1 in islets separated by a Transwell membrane from islets lacking Pdx-1 overexpression activates proliferation in the untreated islets. Microarray and gene ontology (GO) analysis identified inhibin beta-B (Inhbb), an activin subunit and member of the transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) superfamily, as a Pdx-1-responsive gene. Overexpression of Inhbb or addition of activin B stimulates rat islet cell and β-cell proliferation, and the activin receptors RIIA and RIIB are required for the full proliferative effects of Pdx-1 in rat islets. In human islets, Inhbb overexpression stimulates total islet cell proliferation and potentiates Pdx-1-stimulated proliferation of total islet cells and β cells. In sum, this study identifies a mechanism by which Pdx-1 induces a soluble factor that is sufficient to stimulate both rat and human islet cell proliferation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/MCB.00103-16DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5108880PMC
December 2016

Aurora Kinase A is critical for the Nkx6.1 mediated β-cell proliferation pathway.

Islets 2015 1;7(1):e1027854. Epub 2015 Jun 1.

a Nutrition; Dietetics and Food Science Department ; College of Life Sciences; Brigham Young University , Provo , Utah USA.

Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are ultimately characterized by depleted β-cell mass. Characterization of the molecular pathways that control β-cell proliferation could be harnessed to restore these cells. The homeobox β-cell transcription factor Nkx6.1 induces β-cell proliferation by activating the orphan nuclear receptors Nr4a1 and Nr4a3. Here, we demonstrate that Nkx6.1 localizes to the promoter of the mitotic kinase AURKA (Aurora Kinase A) and induces its expression. Adenovirus mediated overexpression of AURKA is sufficient to induce proliferation in primary rat islets while maintaining glucose stimulated insulin secretion. Furthermore, AURKA is necessary for Nkx6.1 mediated β-cell proliferation as demonstrated by shRNA mediated knock down and pharmacological inhibition of AURKA kinase activity. AURKA preferentially induces DNA replication in β-cells as measured by BrdU incorporation, and enhances the rate of histone H3 phosphorylation in primary β-cells, demonstrating that AURKA induces the replicative and mitotic cell cycle phases in rat β-cells. Finally, overexpression of AURKA results in phosphorylation of the cell cycle regulator p53, which targets p53 for degradation and permits cell cycle progression. These studies define a pathway by which AURKA upregulation by Nkx6.1 results in phosphorylation and degradation of p53, thus removing a key inhibitory factor and permitting engagement of the β-cell proliferation pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19382014.2015.1027854DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4588548PMC
May 2016

Coordinated regulatory variation associated with gestational hyperglycaemia regulates expression of the novel hexokinase HKDC1.

Nat Commun 2015 Feb 4;6:6069. Epub 2015 Feb 4.

1] Center for Genomic &Computational Biology, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina 27708, USA [2] Department of Biostatistics &Bioinformatics, Duke University Medical School, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.

Maternal glucose levels during pregnancy impact the developing fetus, affecting metabolic health both early and later on in life. Both genetic and environmental factors influence maternal metabolism, but little is known about the genetic mechanisms that alter glucose metabolism during pregnancy. Here, we report that haplotypes previously associated with gestational hyperglycaemia in the third trimester disrupt regulatory element activity and reduce expression of the nearby HKDC1 gene. We further find that experimentally reducing or increasing HKDC1 expression reduces or increases hexokinase activity, respectively, in multiple cellular models; in addition, purified HKDC1 protein has hexokinase activity in vitro. Together, these results suggest a novel mechanism of gestational glucose regulation in which the effects of genetic variants in multiple regulatory elements alter glucose homeostasis by coordinately reducing expression of the novel hexokinase HKDC1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms7069DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4318120PMC
February 2015

Nkx6.1 regulates islet β-cell proliferation via Nr4a1 and Nr4a3 nuclear receptors.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2014 Apr 24;111(14):5242-7. Epub 2014 Mar 24.

Sarah W. Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center, Duke Molecular Physiology Institute, Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, and Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27704.

Loss of functional β-cell mass is a hallmark of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and methods for restoring these cells are needed. We have previously reported that overexpression of the homeodomain transcription factor NK6 homeobox 1 (Nkx6.1) in rat pancreatic islets induces β-cell proliferation and enhances glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, but the pathway by which Nkx6.1 activates β-cell expansion has not been defined. Here, we demonstrate that Nkx6.1 induces expression of the nuclear receptor subfamily 4, group A, members 1 and 3 (Nr4a1 and Nr4a3) orphan nuclear receptors, and that these factors are both necessary and sufficient for Nkx6.1-mediated β-cell proliferation. Consistent with this finding, global knockout of Nr4a1 results in a decrease in β-cell area in neonatal and young mice. Overexpression of Nkx6.1 and the Nr4a receptors results in increased expression of key cell cycle inducers E2F transcription factor 1 and cyclin E1. Furthermore, Nkx6.1 and Nr4a receptors induce components of the anaphase-promoting complex, including ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme E2C, resulting in degradation of the cell cycle inhibitor p21. These studies identify a unique bipartite pathway for activation of β-cell proliferation, suggesting several unique targets for expansion of functional β-cell mass.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1320953111DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3986138PMC
April 2014

A branched-chain amino acid-related metabolic signature that differentiates obese and lean humans and contributes to insulin resistance.

Cell Metab 2009 Apr;9(4):311-26

Sarah W. Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.

Metabolomic profiling of obese versus lean humans reveals a branched-chain amino acid (BCAA)-related metabolite signature that is suggestive of increased catabolism of BCAA and correlated with insulin resistance. To test its impact on metabolic homeostasis, we fed rats on high-fat (HF), HF with supplemented BCAA (HF/BCAA), or standard chow (SC) diets. Despite having reduced food intake and a low rate of weight gain equivalent to the SC group, HF/BCAA rats were as insulin resistant as HF rats. Pair-feeding of HF diet to match the HF/BCAA animals or BCAA addition to SC diet did not cause insulin resistance. Insulin resistance induced by HF/BCAA feeding was accompanied by chronic phosphorylation of mTOR, JNK, and IRS1Ser307 and by accumulation of multiple acylcarnitines in muscle, and it was reversed by the mTOR inhibitor, rapamycin. Our findings show that in the context of a dietary pattern that includes high fat consumption, BCAA contributes to development of obesity-associated insulin resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2009.02.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3640280PMC
April 2009

The STEDMAN project: biophysical, biochemical and metabolic effects of a behavioral weight loss intervention during weight loss, maintenance, and regain.

OMICS 2009 Feb;13(1):21-35

Department of Medicine, Sarah W Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.

The Study of the Effects of Diet on Metabolism and Nutrition (STEDMAN) Project uses comprehensive metabolic profiling to probe biochemical mechanisms of weight loss in humans. Measurements at baseline, 2 and 4 weeks, 6 and 12 months included diet, body composition, metabolic rate, hormones, and 80 intermediary metabolites measured by mass spectrometry. In 27 obese adults in a behavioral weight loss intervention, median weight decreased 13.9 lb over the first 6 months, then reverted towards baseline by 12 months. Insulin resistance (HOMA) was partially ameliorated in the first 6 months and showed sustained improvement at 12 months despite weight regain. Ghrelin increased with weight loss and reverted to baseline, whereas leptin and PYY fell at 6 months and remained persistently low. NPY levels did not change. Factors possibly contributing to sustained improvement in insulin sensitivity despite weight regain include adiponectin (increased by 12 months), IGF-1 (increased during weight loss and continued to increase during weight regain), and visceral fat (fell at 6 months but did not change thereafter). We observed a persistent reduction in free fatty acids, branched chain amino acids, and related metabolites that may contribute to improved insulin action. These findings provide evidence for sustained benefits of weight loss in obese humans and insights into mechanisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/omi.2008.0035DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2678563PMC
February 2009

The Study of the Effects of Diet on Metabolism and Nutrition (STEDMAN) weight loss project: Rationale and design.

Contemp Clin Trials 2005 Dec 18;26(6):616-25. Epub 2005 Oct 18.

Sarah W. Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center, Duke University, Durham, NC 27705, USA.

This paper outlines the rationale and design of the Study of the Effects of Diet on Metabolism and Nutrition (STEDMAN) weight loss project, in which detailed biologic profiling of three hundred and fifty obese individuals (body mass index (BMI): 30-50 kg/m(2)) will be conducted as they lose weight via seven distinct interventions. These profiles will be compared to those of fifty normal, healthy, control participants (BMI: 18.5-24.9 kg/m(2)). The interventions include the following: Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, dietary interventions of differing macronutrient composition and diverse pharmacologic interventions. Outcome variables include eight conventional metabolites and CRP measured by standard clinical chemistry techniques, twenty hormones of energy balance and fuel homeostasis measured by radioimmunoassay (RIA) or by enzyme-linked Immunosorbent assay (ELISA), ten pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines measured using Luminex xMAP technology, one hundred and one intermediary metabolites measured by targeted mass-spectrometry-based methods, and physiologic variables such as body composition measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), air displacement plethysmography, and abdominal computerized tomography (CT), insulin sensitivity measured by intravenous glucose tolerance test (IV-GTT) and metabolic rate measured by indirect calorimetry. Results from this study will expand our knowledge of the biology of obesity and weight regulation and may lead to targeted strategies for its treatment and control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cct.2005.09.003DOI Listing
December 2005