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    Sechi, GianPietro Sechi, Elia Fois, Chiara and Kumar, Neeraj 2016. Advances in clinical determinants and neurological manifestations of B vitamin deficiency in adults. Nutrition Reviews, Vol. 74, Issue. 5, p. 281.

    Kohlmeier, Martin 2015. Nutrient Metabolism.

    Kuroishi, Toshinobu 2015. Regulation of immunological and inflammatory functions by biotin1. Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, Vol. 93, Issue. 12, p. 1091.

    Tsuji, Ai Nakamura, Toshinobu and Shibata, Katsumi 2015. Biotin-deficient diet induces chromosome misalignment and spindle defects in mouse oocytes. Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, Vol. 79, Issue. 2, p. 292.

    Zempleni, Janos Liu, Dandan Teixeira Camara, Daniel and Cordonier, Elizabeth L 2014. Novel roles of holocarboxylase synthetase in gene regulation and intermediary metabolism. Nutrition Reviews, Vol. 72, Issue. 6, p. 369.

    2014. Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for biotin. EFSA Journal, Vol. 12, Issue. 2, p. 3580.

    Xia, Mengna Malkaram, Sridhar A. and Zempleni, Janos 2013. Three promoters regulate the transcriptional activity of the human holocarboxylase synthetase gene. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, Vol. 24, Issue. 11, p. 1963.


Identification and assessment of markers of biotin status in healthy adults

  • Wei Kay Eng (a1), David Giraud (a1), Vicki L. Schlegel (a2), Dong Wang (a3), Bo Hyun Lee (a2) and Janos Zempleni (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 10 January 2013

Human biotin requirements are unknown and the identification of reliable markers of biotin status is necessary to fill this knowledge gap. Here, we used an outpatient feeding protocol to create states of biotin deficiency, sufficiency and supplementation in sixteen healthy men and women. A total of twenty possible markers of biotin status were assessed, including the abundance of biotinylated carboxylases in lymphocytes, the expression of genes from biotin metabolism and the urinary excretion of biotin and organic acids. Only the abundance of biotinylated 3-methylcrotonyl-CoA carboxylase (holo-MCC) and propionyl-CoA carboxylase (holo-PCC) allowed for distinguishing biotin-deficient and biotin-sufficient individuals. The urinary excretion of biotin reliably identified biotin-supplemented subjects, but did not distinguish between biotin-depleted and biotin-sufficient individuals. The urinary excretion of 3-hydroxyisovaleric acid detected some biotin-deficient subjects, but produced a meaningful number of false-negative results and did not distinguish between biotin-sufficient and biotin-supplemented individuals. None of the other organic acids that were tested were useful markers of biotin status. Likewise, the abundance of mRNA coding for biotin transporters, holocarboxylase synthetase and biotin-dependent carboxylases in lymphocytes were not different among the treatment groups. Generally, datasets were characterised by variations that exceeded those seen in studies in cell cultures. We conclude that holo-MCC and holo-PCC are the most reliable, single markers of biotin status tested in the present study.

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Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: J. Zempleni, fax +1 402 472 1587, email
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British Journal of Nutrition
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