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Metab Syndr Relat Disord. 2015 Jun;13(5):195-202. doi: 10.1089/met.2014.0132. Epub 2015 Feb 9.

Association of branched and aromatic amino acids levels with metabolic syndrome and impaired fasting glucose in hypertensive patients.

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1 Department of Pharmacotherapy and Translational Research and Center for Pharmacogenomics, University of Florida , College of Pharmacy, Gainesville, Florida.



The three branched amino acids (valine, leucine, and isoleucine) and two aromatic amino acids (tyrosine and phenylalanine) have been associated with many adverse metabolic pathways, including diabetes. However, these associations have been identified primarily in otherwise healthy Caucasian populations. We aimed to investigate the association of this five-amino-acid signature with metabolic syndrome and impaired fasting glucose (IFG) in a hypertensive cohort of Caucasian and African Americans.


We analyzed data from the Pharmacogenomic Evaluation of Antihypertensive Responses (PEAR) studies PEAR and PEAR2 conducted between 2005 and 2014. Subjects were enrolled at the University of Florida (Gainesville, FL), Emory University (Atlanta, GA), and Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN). A total of 898 patients with essential hypertension were included in this study. Presence of metabolic syndrome and IFG at baseline were determined on the basis of measurements of demographic and biochemical data. Levels of the five amino acids were quantified by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectroscopy (LC-MS/MS).


With a multiple logistic regression model, we found that all five amino acids were significantly associated with metabolic syndrome in both Caucasian and African Americans. IFG and the five amino acids were associated in the Caucasian Americans. Only valine was significantly associated with IFG in African Americans.


In both Caucasian and African Americans with uncomplicated hypertension, plasma levels of the five-amino-acid signature are associated with metabolic syndrome. Additionally, in Caucasians we have confirmed the five-amino-acid signature was associated with IFG.

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