Metabolic reprogramming of hydrogenosomal amino acids in Trichomonas vaginalis under glucose restriction

Kuo Yang Huang, Seow Chin Ong, Chih Ching Wu, Chia Wei Hsu, Hsin Chung Lin, Yi Kai Fang, Wei Hung Cheng, Po Jung Huang, Cheng Hsun Chiu, Petrus Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Glucose is the major energy source that is converted to pyruvate for ATP generation in the trichomonad hydrogenosome. Under glucose restriction (GR), the regulation of amino acids metabolism is crucial for trichomonad growth and survival. RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis has been used to identify differentially expressed genes in Trichomonas vaginalis under GR, leading to significant advances in understanding adaptive responses of amino acid metabolism to GR. However, the levels of amino acid metabolites modulated by GR are unknown in T. vaginalis. Methods: Herein, we describe a comprehensive metabolomic analysis of amino acid metabolites in the hydrogenosome using liquid chromatography Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (LC-FT MS). The relative abundance of 17 hydrogenosomal amino acids was analyzed under GR and high-glucose (HG) conditions. Results: Levels of most amino acids were higher in GR culture. Arginine was not detectable in either HG or GR cultures; however, its metabolic end-product proline was slightly increased under GR, suggesting that the arginine dihydrolase pathway was more activated by GR. Additionally, methionine catabolism was less stimulated under GR because of greater methionine accumulation. Furthermore, branched chain amino acids (BCAA), including leucine, isoleucine and valine, as well as phenylalanine and alanine, markedly accumulated under GR, indicating that glutamate-related metabolic pathways were remarkably enhanced in this setting. Our metabolomic analysis combined with previous RNA-seq data confirm the existence of several amino acid metabolic pathways in the hydrogenosome and highlight their potentially important roles in T. vaginalis under glucose deprivation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)630-637
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Microbiology, Immunology and Infection
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Aug

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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