XJTU experts share views in Nature on methane formation in living cells

2022-03-15  []


Two experts at the First Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University (XJTU) published a commentary in Nature, sharing their views on mechanisms of methane formation in living cells.  


Invited by the world's leading multidisciplinary science journal, Professor Liu Chang and Associate Researcher Zhang Jingyao shared their views on the latest research results of a team led by Professor Frank Keppler at Heidelberg University.  





Entitled Methane might be made by all living organisms, the XJTU researchers put forward new points on the basis of the research findings of Keppler's team, combined withprevious results. (Link to the paper: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-00206-3)  


They believe that methane released by the body is an indirect marker of the level of ROS in the organism. By detecting the levelof methane in the breath, blood or tissue, it can reflect the level of oxidative stress in the body, which has certain application prospects in vitro diagnosis.  


They also proposed that ROS-driven methane production is an endogenous protective mechanism against oxidative stress.  


In addition, exogenous intake of methane (inhalation of methane gas, drinking of methane-enriched water, etc.) can play an adjuvant therapeutic role by reducing the level of oxidative stress and inflammatory response, and may have certain value in clinical application and general health.  


In the article, they also took the lead in proposing the biological effects of exogenous methane and its future development in the field of biomedicine.  


The latest research results of Keppler's team found that there may be a non-enzymatic reactive oxygen radical (ROS)-driven methane production mode in all living cells, and this mechanism is only related to reactive oxygen species, iron and methyl donors.  


This research completely overturns the traditional understanding that methane is only produced by methanogenic archaea through an enzymatic reaction in a strictly anaerobic environment.


Caption: Professor Liu Chang (L) and Associate Researcher Zhang Jingyao of First Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University (XJTU)