Exceptional evolutionary divergence of human muscle and brain metabolomes parallels human cognitive and physical uniqueness.

Bibliographic Collection: 
APE, CARTA-Inspired Publication
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Bozek, Katarzyna; Wei, Yuning; Yan, Zheng; Liu, Xiling; Xiong, Jieyi; Sugimoto, Masahiro; Tomita, Masaru; Pääbo, Svante; Pieszek, Raik; Sherwood, Chet C; Hof, Patrick R; Ely, John J; Steinhauser, Dirk; Willmitzer, Lothar; Bangsbo, Jens; Hansson, Ola; Call, Josep; Giavalisco, Patrick; Khaitovich, Philipp
Year of Publication: 2014
Journal: PLoS Biol
Volume: 12
Issue: 5
Pagination: e1001871
Date Published: 2014 May
Publication Language: eng
ISSN: 1545-7885
Keywords: Animals, Biological Evolution, Cognition, Energy Metabolism, Female, Humans, Macaca, Male, Metabolome, Mice, Muscle Strength, Muscle, Skeletal, Pan troglodytes, Prefrontal Cortex, Species Specificity

Metabolite concentrations reflect the physiological states of tissues and cells. However, the role of metabolic changes in species evolution is currently unknown. Here, we present a study of metabolome evolution conducted in three brain regions and two non-neural tissues from humans, chimpanzees, macaque monkeys, and mice based on over 10,000 hydrophilic compounds. While chimpanzee, macaque, and mouse metabolomes diverge following the genetic distances among species, we detect remarkable acceleration of metabolome evolution in human prefrontal cortex and skeletal muscle affecting neural and energy metabolism pathways. These metabolic changes could not be attributed to environmental conditions and were confirmed against the expression of their corresponding enzymes. We further conducted muscle strength tests in humans, chimpanzees, and macaques. The results suggest that, while humans are characterized by superior cognition, their muscular performance might be markedly inferior to that of chimpanzees and macaque monkeys.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001871
Alternate Journal: PLoS Biol.