Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Nutr. 2012 Sep;142(9):1621-5. doi: 10.3945/jn.112.164814. Epub 2012 Jul 25.

Measurement of acylcarnitine substrate to product ratios specific to biotin-dependent carboxylases offers a combination of indicators of biotin status in humans.

Author information

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR, USA.


This work describes a novel liquid chromatography tandem MS (LC-MS/MS) method for the determination of ratios of acylcarnitines arising from acyl-CoA substrates and products that reflect metabolic disturbances caused by marginal biotin deficiency. The urinary ratios reflecting reduced activities of biotin-dependent enzymes include the following: 1) the ratio of 3-hydroxyisovalerylcarnitine : 3-methylglutarylcarnitine (3HIAc : MGc) for methylcrotonyl-CoA carboxylase; 2) the ratio of propionylcarnitine:methylmalonylcarnitine (Pc : MMc) for propionyl-CoA carboxylase (PCC); and 3) the ratio of acetylcarnitine : malonylcarnitine (Ac : Mc) for acetyl-CoA carboxylase. To demonstrate the suitability of the LC-MS/MS method for biomonitoring, we measured the 3 ratios for 7 healthy adults at various time points (d 0, 14, and 28) during the induction of marginal biotin through the consumption of egg white. The mean change in the Pc : MMc ratio relative to d 0 was 5.3-fold by d 14 (P = 0.0049) and 8.5-fold by d 28 (P = 0.0042). The mean change in the 3HIAc : MGc ratio was 2.8-fold by d 14 (P = 0.0022) and 3.8-fold by d 28 (P = 0.0001). The mean change in the Ac : Mc ratio was 2.9-fold by d 14 (P = 0.03) and 4.7-fold by d 28 (P = 0.02). The results suggest that simultaneous assessment of ratios of multiple biotin-dependent pathways offers insight into the complex metabolic disturbances caused by marginal biotin deficiency. We hypothesize that one or a combination of the ratios might be more sensitive or robust with respect to other nutrient deficiencies or confounding metabolic processes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center