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CNDP1 knockout in zebrafish alters the amino acid metabolism, restrains weight gain, but does not protect from diabetic complications

Schmöhl F, Peters V, Schmitt CP, Poschet G, Büttner M, Li X, Weigand T, Poth T, Volk N, Morgenstern J, Fleming T, Nawroth PP, Kroll J
Cell Molec Life Sci. 2019;[Epub ahead of print] doi:10.1007/s00018-019-03127-z
The gene CNDP1 was associated with the development of diabetic nephropathy. Its enzyme carnosinase 1 (CN1) primarily hydrolyzes the histidine-containing dipeptide carnosine but other organ and metabolic functions are mainly unknown. In our study we generated CNDP1 knockout zebrafish, which showed strongly decreased CN1 activity and increased intracellular carnosine levels. Vasculature and kidneys of CNDP1−/− zebrafish were not affected, except for a transient glomerular alteration. Amino acid profiling showed a decrease of certain amino acids in CNDP1−/− zebrafish, suggesting a specific function for CN1 in the amino acid metabolisms. Indeed, we identified a CN1 activity for Ala–His and Ser–His. Under diabetic conditions increased carnosine levels in CNDP1−/− embryos could not protect from respective organ alterations. Although, weight gain through overfeeding was restrained by CNDP1 loss. Together, zebrafish exhibits CN1 functions, while CNDP1 knockout alters the amino acid metabolism, attenuates weight gain but cannot protect organs from diabetic complications.
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