• The cytotoxicity of fatty acid/α-lactalbumin complexes depends on the amount and type of fatty acid

      Brinkman, Christel Rothe; Brodkorb, Andre; Thiel, Steffen; Kehoe, Joseph James; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; 08RDTMFRC650 (Wiley, 17/04/2013)
      Complexes of the milk protein, α-lactalbumin, and the fatty acid, oleic acid, have previously been shown to be cytotoxic. Complexes of α-lactalbumin and five different fatty acids (vaccenic, linoleic, palmitoleic, stearic, and elaidic acid) were prepared and compared to those formed with oleic acid. All complexes were cytotoxic to human promyelocytic leukemia-derived (HL-60) cells but to different degrees depending on the fatty acid. The amount of fatty acid per α-lactalbumin molecule was found to correlate with the cytotoxicity; the higher the number of fatty acids per protein, the more cytotoxic the complex. Importantly, all the tested fatty acids were also found to be cytotoxic on their own in a concentration dependent manner. The cytotoxic effect of complexes between α-lactalbumin and linoleic acid, vaccenic acid, or oleic acid was further investigated using flow cytometry and found to induce cell death resembling apoptosis on Jurkat cells. Practical applications: Cytotoxic complexes of α-lactalbumin and several different fatty acids could be produced. The cytotoxicity of all the variants is similar to that previously determined for α-lactalbumin/oleic acid complexes.
    • Protein Quality and the Protein to Carbohydrate Ratio within a High Fat Diet Influences Energy Balance and the Gut Microbiota In C57BL/6J Mice

      McAllan, Liam; Skuse, Peter; Cotter, Paul D.; O'Connor, Paula M.; Cryan, John F.; Ross, R Paul; Fitzgerald, Gerald F; Roche, Helen M.; Nilaweera, Kanishka; Teagasc Vision Programme on Obesity; et al. (PLOS, 10/02/2014)
      Macronutrient quality and composition are important determinants of energy balance and the gut microbiota. Here, we investigated how changes to protein quality (casein versus whey protein isolate; WPI) and the protein to carbohydrate (P/C) ratio within a high fat diet (HFD) impacts on these parameters. Mice were fed a low fat diet (10% kJ) or a high fat diet (HFD; 45% kJ) for 21 weeks with either casein (20% kJ, HFD) or WPI at 20%, 30% or 40% kJ. In comparison to casein, WPI at a similar energy content normalised energy intake, increased lean mass and caused a trend towards a reduction in fat mass (P = 0.08), but the protein challenge did not alter oxygen consumption or locomotor activity. WPI reduced HFD-induced plasma leptin and liver triacylglycerol, and partially attenuated the reduction in adipose FASN mRNA in HFD-fed mice. High throughput sequence-based analysis of faecal microbial populations revealed microbiota in the HFD-20% WPI group clustering closely with HFD controls, although WPI specifically increased Lactobacillaceae/Lactobacillus and decreased Clostridiaceae/Clostridium in HFD-fed mice. There was no effect of increasing the P/C ratio on energy intake, but the highest ratio reduced HFD-induced weight gain, fat mass and plasma triacylglycerol, non-esterified fatty acids, glucose and leptin levels, while it increased lean mass and oxygen consumption. Similar effects were observed on adipose mRNA expression, where the highest ratio reduced HFD-associated expression of UCP-2, TNFa and CD68 and increased the diet-associated expression of b3-AR, LPL, IR, IRS-1 and GLUT4. The P/C ratio also impacted on gut microbiota, with populations in the 30/ 40% WPI groups clustering together and away from the 20% WPI group. Taken together, our data show that increasing the P/C ratio has a dramatic effect on energy balance and the composition of gut microbiota, which is distinct from that caused by changes to protein quality.