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Specificity of Polysaccharide Use in Intestinal Bacteroides Species Determines Diet-Induced Microbiota Alterations

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Susan Firbank, Dr David Bolam

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Abstract

The intestinal microbiota impacts many facets of human health and is associated with human diseases. Diet impacts microbiota composition, yet mechanisms that link dietary changes to microbiota alterations remain ill-defined. Here we elucidate the basis of Bacteroides proliferation in response to fructans, a class of fructose-based dietary polysaccharides. Structural and genetic analysis disclosed a fructose-binding, hybrid two-component signaling sensor that controls the fructan utilization locus in Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron. Gene content of this locus differs among Bacteroides species and dictates the specificity and breadth of utilizable fructans. BT1760, an extracellular beta 2-6 endo-fructanase, distinguishes B. thetaiotaomicron genetically and functionally, and enables the use of the beta 2-6-linked fructan levan. The genetic and functional differences between Bacteroides species are predictive of in vivo competitiveness in the presence of dietary fructans. Gene sequences that distinguish species' metabolic capacity serve as potential biomarkers in microbiomic datasets to enable rational manipulation of the microbiota via diet.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Sonnenburg ED, Zheng HJ, Joglekar P, Higginbottom SK, Firbank SJ, Bolam DN, Sonnenburg JL

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Cell

Year: 2010

Volume: 141

Issue: 7

Pages: 1241-1252

Print publication date: 24/06/2010

ISSN (print): 0092-8674

ISSN (electronic): 1097-4172

Publisher: Cell Press

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2010.05.005

DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2010.05.005


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