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Biochemical Foundations of Health and Energy Conservation in Hibernating Free-Ranging Subadult Brown Bear Ursus arctos
Department of Chemistry and Bioscience, Section of Biotechnology, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark.
Department of Chemistry and Bioscience, Section of Biotechnology, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark; Wellspring Biosciences LLC, San Diego, CA, United States.
Department of Chemistry and Bioscience, Section of Biotechnology, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark.
Department of Chemistry and Bioscience, Section of Biotechnology, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark.
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2016 (English)In: Journal of Biological Chemistry, ISSN 0021-9258, E-ISSN 1083-351X, Vol. 291, no 43, 22509-22523 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Brown bears (Ursus arctos) hibernate for 5-7 months without eating, drinking, urinating and defecating at a metabolic rate of only 25% of the summer activity rate. Nonetheless, they emerge healthy and alert in spring. We quantified the biochemical adaptations for hibernation by comparing the proteome, metabolome, and hematologic features of blood from hibernating and active free-ranging subadult brown bears with a focus on conservation of health and energy. We found that total plasma protein concentration increased during hibernation, even though the concentrations of most individual plasma proteins decreased, as did the white blood cell types. Strikingly, antimicrobial defense proteins increased in concentration. Central functions in hibernation involving the coagulation response and protease inhibition, as well as lipid transport and metabolism, were upheld by increased levels of very few key or broad-specificity proteins. The changes in coagulation factor levels matched the changes in activity measurements. A dramatic 45-fold increase in sex-hormone-binding-globulin SHBG levels during hibernation draws, for the first time, attention to its significant but unknown role in maintaining hibernation physiology. We propose that energy for the costly protein synthesis is reduced by three mechanisms, (i) dehydration, which increases protein concentration without de novo synthesis; (ii) reduced protein degradation rates due to a 6 °C reduction in body temperature, and decreased protease activity; and (iii) a marked redistribution of energy resources only increasing de novo synthesis of few key proteins. This comprehensive global data identified novel biochemical strategies for bear adaptations to the extreme condition of hibernation, and have implications for our understanding of physiology in general.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Rockville, USA: American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2016. Vol. 291, no 43, 22509-22523 p.
Keyword [en]
Antimicrobial proteins, blood constituents, coagulation factor, complement system, hibernation physiology, metabolomics, protein turnover, proteomics, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG)
National Category
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Research subject
Biochemistry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-52176DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M116.742916ISI: 000386760600013PubMedID: 27609515ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84992343533OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-52176DiVA: diva2:972609
Note

Funding Agency:

Lundbech Foundation R126-2012-12408

Aalborg University

Available from: 2016-09-21 Created: 2016-09-14 Last updated: 2016-11-25Bibliographically approved

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