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BMC Genomics April 11, 2018; 19 (1): 246.
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A comparative genomics study of carbohydrate/glucose metabolic genes: from fish to mammals.

Zhang Y , Qin C , Yang L , Lu R , Zhao X , Nie G .

BACKGROUND: Glucose plays a key role as an energy source in most mammals, but its importance in fish appears to be limited that so far seemed to belong to diabetic humans only. Several laboratories worldwide have made important efforts in order to better understand this strange phenotype observed in fish. However, the mechanism of carbohydrate/glucose metabolism is astonishingly complex. Why basal glycaemia is different between fish and mammals and how carbohydrate metabolism is different amongst organisms is largely uncharted territory. The utilization of comparative systems biology with model vertebrates to explore fish metabolism has become an essential approach to unravelling hidden in vivo mechanisms. RESULTS: In this study, we first built a database containing 791, 593, 523, 666 and 698 carbohydrate/glucose metabolic genes from the genomes of Danio rerio, Xenopus tropicalis, Gallus gallus, Mus musculus and Homo sapiens, respectively, and most of these genes in our database are predicted to encode specific enzymes that play roles in defined reactions; over 57% of these genes are related to human type 2 diabetes. Then, we systematically compared these genes and found that more than 70% of the carbohydrate/glucose metabolic genes are conserved in the five species. Interestingly, there are 4 zebrafish-specific genes (si:ch211-167b20.8, CABZ01043017.1, socs9 and eif4e1c) and 1 human-specific gene (CALML6) that may alter glucose utilization in their corresponding species. Interestingly, these 5 genes are all carbohydrate regulation factors, but the enzymes themselves are involved in insulin regulation pathways. Lastly, in order to facilitate the use of our data sets, we constructed a glucose metabolism database platform ( ). CONCLUSIONS: This study provides the first systematic genomic insights into carbohydrate/glucose metabolism. After exhaustive analysis, we found that most metabolic genes are conserved in vertebrates. This work may resolve some of the complexities of carbohydrate/glucose metabolic heterogeneity amongst different vertebrates and may provide a reference for the treatment of diabetes and for applications in the aquaculture industry.

PubMed ID: 29642853
PMC ID: PMC5896114
Article link: BMC Genomics
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus tropicalis
Genes referenced: ins npy4r
GO keywords: carbohydrate metabolic process [+]

Disease Ontology terms: type 2 diabetes mellitus

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Abdelmalek, Higher dietary fructose is associated with impaired hepatic adenosine triphosphate homeostasis in obese individuals with type 2 diabetes. 2012, Pubmed