TitleCats with genetic variants of AGXT2 respond differently to a dietary intervention known to reduce the risk of calcium oxalate stone formation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsHall, JA
Secondary AuthorsPanicker, KS, Brockman, JA, Jewell, DE
JournalGenes (Basel)
Date Published04/2022
KeywordsAGXT2, betaine, calcium oxalate, Cats, Metabolomics, personalized nutrition, urine

This study was completed to evaluate a genotype-specific nutritional intervention for reducing the risk of calcium oxalate stone formation. Serum metabolomic profiles and genotypes of 445 cats in the colony at Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc (Topeka, KS, USA)were assessed in a genome-wide association study, and revealed an association between genetic variants of alanine-glyoxylate aminotransferase 2 (AGXT2) and 2-oxoarginine. The most significant single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) associated with 2-oxoarginine was at position chrA1:212069607, [G/A] (p < 3.687 × 10−17). This SNP explained approximately 15% of the variance in 2-oxoarginine concentrations. The distribution of genotype frequencies was 0.07 AA, 0.39 AG, and 0.54 GG, with a mean relative 2-oxoarginine concentration for each genotype of 0.45 AA, 0.92 AG, and 1.27 GG, indicating a subtractive effect of the minor allele (A). Serum concentrations of two AGXT2 substrates, symmetric/asymmetric dimethylarginines (SDMA/ADMA) and β-aminoisobutyrate (BAIB) were also strongly associated with SNP chrA1:212069607 (p < 1.43 × 10−12 and p < 2.30 × 10−14, respectively). These two AGXT2 substrates were increased with the minor allele (A), indicating that the variant of the AGXT2 gene results in decreased aminotransferase activity. Additionally, the lifetime history of stone incidence showed that cats with the AA variant of AGXT2 SNP had a 2.515× increased incidence of stones compared with cats having the GG variant (p = 0.019). In a subsequent study assessing AGXT2 genotypes, cats (n = 10 GG, 4 AG, 9 AA) were fed control or test food (containing betaine at 0.500%, and the botanicals green tea, fenugreek and tulsi at 0.25, 0.025, and 0.0015%, respectively) in a cross-over study design. Stone risk analysis was conducted on urine samples after feeding control or test food for 28 days each. A calcium oxalate titration test (COT) was performed to assess the amount of added Ox−2 (per L) required to initiate calcium oxalate crystal formation. Cats with the GG variant of the AGXT2 SNP required more added oxalate to initiate urine crystal formation after consuming test food compared with control food, indicating a decreased risk of oxalate crystal formation in GG cats. In addition, urine oxalate concentrations showed an overall effect of test food independent of genotype (p = 0.0009), which resulted in lower oxalate concentrations after consuming test food compared with control food. These data indicate that cats with the GG-specific variant of AGXT2 should benefit from a reduced risk of calcium oxalate stone formation after consuming a betaine and botanical dietary enhancement.