Browsing by Subject "MUCIN"

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  • Kostopoulos, Ioannis; Aalvink, Steven; Kovatcheva-Datchary, Petia; Nijsse, Bart; Backhed, Fredrik; Knol, Jan; de Vos, Willem M.; Belzer, Clara (2021)
    The human gastrointestinal tract is colonized by a diverse microbial community, which plays a crucial role in human health. In the gut, a protective mucus layer that consists of glycan structures separates the bacteria from the host epithelial cells. These host-derived glycans are utilized by bacteria that have adapted to this specific compound in the gastrointestinal tract. Our study investigated the close interaction between two distinct gut microbiota members known to use mucus glycans, the generalist Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron and the specialist Akkermansia muciniphila in vitro and in vivo. The in vitro study, in which mucin was the only nutrient source, indicated that B. thetaiotaomicron significantly upregulated genes coding for Glycoside Hydrolases (GHs) and mucin degradation activity when cultured in the presence of A. muciniphila. Furthermore, B. thetaiotaomicron significantly upregulated the expression of a gene encoding for membrane attack complex/perforin (MACPF) domain in co-culture. The transcriptome analysis also indicated that A. muciniphila was less affected by the environmental changes and was able to sustain its abundance in the presence of B. thetaiotaomicron while increasing the expression of LPS core biosynthesis activity encoding genes (O-antigen ligase, Lipid A and Glycosyl transferases) as well as ABC transporters. Using germ-free mice colonized with B. thetaiotaomicron and/or A. muciniphila, we observed a more general glycan degrading profile in B. thetaiotaomicron while the expression profile of A. muciniphila was not significantly affected when colonizing together, indicating that two different nutritional niches were established in mice gut. Thus, our results indicate that a mucin degrading generalist adapts to its changing environment, depending on available carbohydrates while a mucin degrading specialist adapts by coping with competing microorganism through upregulation of defense related genes.
  • Ottman, Noora; Geerlings, Sharon Y.; Aalvink, Steven; de Vos, Willem M.; Belzer, Clara (2017)
    The discovery of Akkermansia muciniphila has opened new avenues for the use of this abundant intestinal symbiont in next generation therapeutic products, as well as targeting microbiota dynamics. A. muciniphila is known to colonize the mucosal layer of the human intestine where it triggers both host metabolic and immune responses. A. muciniphila is particularly effective in increasing mucus thickness and increasing gut barrier function. As a result host metabolic markers ameliorate. The mechanism of host regulation is thought to involve the outer membrane composition, including the type IV pili of A. muciniphila, that directly signal to host immune receptors. At the same time the metabolic activity of A. muciniphila leads to the production of short chain fatty acids that are beneficial to the host and microbiota members. This contributes to host-microbiota and microbe-microbe syntrophy The mucolytic activity and metabolite production make A. muciniphila a key species in the mucus layer, stimulating beneficial mucosal microbial networks. This well studied member of the microbiota has been studied in three aspects that will be further described in this review: i) A. muciniphila characteristics and mucin adaptation, ii) its role as key species in the mucosal microbiome, and iii) its role in host health. (C) 2017 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
  • Reunanen, Justus; Kainulainen, Veera; Huuskonen, Laura; Ottman, Noora; Belzer, Clara; Huhtinen, Heikki; de Vos, Willem M.; Satokari, Reetta (2015)
    Akkermansia muciniphila is a Gram-negative mucin-degrading bacterium that resides in the gastrointestinal tracts of humans and animals. A. muciniphila has been linked with intestinal health and improved metabolic status in obese and type 2 diabetic subjects. Specifically, A. muciniphila has been shown to reduce high-fat-diet-induced endotoxemia, which develops as a result of an impaired gut barrier. Despite the accumulating evidence of the health-promoting effects of A. muciniphila, the mechanisms of interaction of the bacterium with the host have received little attention. In this study, we used several in vitro models to investigate the adhesion of A. muciniphila to the intestinal epithelium and its interaction with the host mucosa. We found that A. muciniphila adheres strongly to the Caco-2 and HT-29 human colonic cell lines but not to human colonic mucus. In addition, A. muciniphila showed binding to the extracellular matrix protein laminin but not to collagen I or IV, fibronectin, or fetuin. Importantly, A. muciniphila improved enterocyte monolayer integrity, as shown by a significant increase in the transepithelial electrical resistance (TER) of cocultures of Caco-2 cells with the bacterium. Further, A. muciniphila induced interleukin 8 (IL-8) production by enterocytes at cell concentrations 100-fold higher than those for Escherichia coli, suggesting a very low level of proinflammatory activity in the epithelium. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that A. muciniphila adheres to the intestinal epithelium and strengthens enterocyte monolayer integrity in vitro, suggesting an ability to fortify an impaired gut barrier. These results support earlier associative in vivo studies and provide insights into the interaction of A. muciniphila with the host.
  • Hänninen, Arno; Toivonen, Raine; Pöysti, Sakari; Belzer, Clara; Plovier, Hubert; Ouwerkerk, Janneke P.; Emani, Rohini; Cani, Patrice D.; De Vos, Willem M. (2018)
    Objective Intestinal microbiota is implicated in the pathogenesis of autoimmune type 1 diabetes in humans and in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice, but evidence on its causality and on the role of individual microbiota members is limited. We investigated if different diabetes incidence in two NOD colonies was due to microbiota differences and aimed to identify individual microbiota members with potential significance. Design We profiled intestinal microbiota between two NOD mouse colonies showing high or low diabetes incidence by 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing and colonised the high-incidence colony with the microbiota of the low-incidence colony. Based on unaltered incidence, we identified a few taxa which were not effectively transferred and thereafter, transferred experimentally one of these to test its potential significance. Results Although the high-incidence colony adopted most microbial taxa present in the low-incidence colony, diabetes incidence remained unaltered. Among the few taxa which were not transferred, Akkermansia muciniphila was identified. As A. muciniphila abundancy is inversely correlated to the risk of developing type 1 diabetes-related autoantibodies, we transferred A. muciniphila experimentally to the high-incidence colony. A. muciniphila transfer promoted mucus production and increased expression of antimicrobial peptide Reg3., outcompeted Ruminococcus torques from the microbiota, lowered serum endotoxin levels and islet toll-like receptor expression, promoted regulatory immunity and delayed diabetes development. Conclusion Transfer of the whole microbiota may not reduce diabetes incidence despite a major change in gut microbiota, but single symbionts such as A. muciniphila with beneficial metabolic and immune signalling effects may reduce diabetes incidence when administered as a probiotic.
  • Huck, Olivier; Mulhall, Hannah; Rubin, George; Kizelnik, Zev; Iyer, Radha; Perpich, John D; Haque, Nasreen; Cani, Patrice D; de Vos, Willem M; Amar, Salomon (2020)
    Abstract Aim Akkermansia muciniphila is a beneficial gut commensal, whose anti-inflammatory properties have recently been demonstrated. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of A.muciniphila on Porphyromonas gingivalis elicited inflammation. Material and Methods In lean and obese mice, A.muciniphila was administered in P.gingivalis induced calvarial abcess and in experimental periodontitis model (EIP). Bone destruction and inflammation were evaluated by histomorphometric analysis. In vitro, A.muciniphila was co-cultured with P.gingivalis, growth and virulence factors expression were evaluated. Bone-marrow macrophages (BMM?) and gingival epithelial cells (TIGK) were exposed to both bacterial strains and the expression of inflammatory mediators, as well as tight junction markers was analyzed. Results In a model of calvarial infection, A.muciniphila decreased inflammatory cell infiltration and bone destruction. In EIP, treatment with A.muciniphila resulted in a decreased alveolar bone loss. In vitro, the addition of A.muciniphila to P.gingivalis infected BMM? increased anti-inflammatory IL-10 and decreased IL-12. Additionally, A.muciniphila exposure increases the expression of junctional integrity markers such as integrin-?1, E-cadherin and ZO-1 in TIGK cells. A.muciniphila co-culture with P.gingivalis reduced gingipains mRNA expression. Discussion This study demonstrated the protective effects of A.muciniphila administration and may open consideration to its use as an adjunctive therapeutic agent to periodontal treatment.
  • Tytgat, Hanne L. P.; Nobrega, Franklin L.; van der Oost, John; de Vos, Willem M. (2019)
    Bacterial communities are known to impact human health and disease. Mixed species biofilms, mostly pathogenic in nature, have been observed in dental and gastric infections as well as in intestinal diseases, chronic gut wounds and colon cancer. Apart from the appendix, the presence of thick polymicrobial biofilms in the healthy gut mucosa is still debated. Polymicrobial biofilms containing potential pathogens appear to be an early-warning signal of developing disease and can be regarded as a tipping point between a healthy and a diseased state of the gut mucosa. Key biofilm-forming pathogens and associated molecules hold promise as biomarkers. Criteria to distinguish microcolonies from biofilms are crucial to provide clarity when reporting biofilm-related phenomena in health and disease in the gut.
  • Ottman, Noora; Huuskonen, Laura; Reunanen, Justus; Boeren, Sjef; Klievink, Judith; Smidt, Hauke; Belzer, Clara; de Vos, Willem M. (2016)
    Akkermansia muciniphila is a common member of the human gut microbiota and belongs to the Planctomycetes-Verrucomicrobia-Chlamydiae superphylum. Decreased levels of A. muciniphila have been associated with many diseases, and thus it is considered to be a beneficial resident of the intestinal mucus layer. Surface-exposed molecules produced by this organism likely play important roles in colonization and communication with other microbes and the host, but the protein composition of the outer membrane (OM) has not been characterized thus far. Herein we set out to identify and characterize A. muciniphila proteins using an integrated approach of proteomics and computational analysis. Sarkosyl extraction and sucrose density-gradient centrifugation methods were used to enrich and fractionate the OM proteome of A. muciniphila. Proteins from these fractions were identified by LC-MS/MS and candidates for OM proteins derived from the experimental approach were subjected to computational screening to verify their location in the cell. In total we identified 79 putative OM and membrane-associated extracellular proteins, and 23 of those were found to differ in abundance between cells of A. muciniphila grown on the natural substrate, mucin, and those grown on the non-mucus sugar, glucose. The identified OM proteins included highly abundant proteins involved in secretion and transport, as well as proteins predicted to take part in formation of the pili-like structures observed in A. muciniphila. The most abundant OM protein was a 95-kD protein, termed PilQ, annotated as a type IV pili secretin and predicted to be involved in the production of pili in A. muciniphila. To verify its location we purified the His-Tag labeled N-terminal domain of PilQ and generated rabbit polyclonal antibodies. Immunoelectron microscopy of thin sections immunolabeled with these antibodies demonstrated the OM localization of PilQ, testifying for its predicted function as a type IV pili secretin in A. muciniphila. As pili structures are known to be involved in the modulation of host immune responses, this provides support for the involvement of OM proteins in the host interaction of A. muciniphila. In conclusion, the characterization of A. muciniphila OM proteome provides valuable information that can be used for further functional and immunological studies.
  • Chia, Loo Wee; Hornung, Bastian V. H.; Aalvink, Steven; Schaap, Peter J.; de Vos, Willem M.; Knol, Jan; Belzer, Clara (2018)
    Host glycans are paramount in regulating the symbiotic relationship between humans and their gut bacteria. The constant flux of host-secreted mucin at the mucosal layer creates a steady niche for bacterial colonization. Mucin degradation by keystone species subsequently shapes the microbial community. This study investigated the transcriptional response during mucin-driven trophic interaction between the specialised mucin-degrader Akkermansia muciniphila and a butyrogenic gut commensal Anaerostipes caccae. A. muciniphila monocultures and co-cultures with non-mucolytic A. caccae from the Lachnospiraceae family were grown anaerobically in minimal media supplemented with mucin. We analysed for growth, metabolites (HPLC analysis), microbial composition (quantitative reverse transcription PCR), and transcriptional response (RNA-seq). Mucin degradation by A. muciniphila supported the growth of A. caccae and concomitant butyrate production predominantly via the acetyl-CoA pathway. Differential expression analysis (DESeq 2) showed the presence of A. caccae induced changes in the A. muciniphila transcriptional response with increased expression of mucin degradation genes and reduced expression of ribosomal genes. Two putative operons that encode for uncharacterised proteins and an efflux system, and several two-component systems were also differentially regulated. This indicated A. muciniphila changed its transcriptional regulation in response to A. caccae. This study provides insight to understand the mucin-driven microbial ecology using metatranscriptomics. Our findings show that the expression of mucolytic enzymes by A. muciniphila increases upon the presence of a community member. This could indicate its role as a keystone species that supports the microbial community in the mucosal environment by increasing the availability of mucin sugars.
  • Tailford, Louise E.; Owen, C. David; Walshaw, John; Crost, Emmanuelle H.; Hardy-Goddard, Jemma; Le Gall, Gwenaelle; de Vos, Willem M.; Taylor, Garry L.; Juge, Nathalie (2015)
    The gastrointestinal mucus layer is colonized by a dense community of microbes catabolizing dietary and host carbohydrates during their expansion in the gut. Alterations in mucosal carbohydrate availability impact on the composition of microbial species. Ruminococcus gnavus is a commensal anaerobe present in the gastrointestinal tract of > 90% of humans and overrepresented in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Using a combination of genomics, enzymology and crystallography, we show that the mucin-degrader R. gnavus ATCC 29149 strain produces an intramolecular trans-sialidase (IT-sialidase) that cleaves off terminal alpha 2-3-linked sialic acid from glycoproteins, releasing 2,7-anhydro-Neu5Ac instead of sialic acid. Evidence of IT-sialidases in human metagenomes indicates that this enzyme occurs in healthy subjects but is more prevalent in IBD metagenomes. Our results uncover a previously unrecognized enzymatic activity in the gut microbiota, which may contribute to the adaptation of intestinal bacteria to the mucosal environment in health and disease.
  • van der Ark, Kees C. H.; Aalvink, Steven; Suarez-Diez, Maria; Schaap, Peter J.; de Vos, Willem M.; Belzer, Clara (2018)
    The abundance of the human intestinal symbiont Akkermansia muciniphila has found to be inversely correlated with several diseases, including metabolic syndrome and obesity. A.muciniphila is known to use mucin as sole carbon and nitrogen source. To study the physiology and the potential for therapeutic applications of this bacterium, we designed a defined minimal medium. The composition of the medium was based on the genome-scale metabolic model of A.muciniphila and the composition of mucin. Our results indicate that A.muciniphila does not code for GlmS, the enzyme that mediates the conversion of fructose-6-phosphate (Fru6P) to glucosamine-6-phosphate (GlcN6P), which is essential in peptidoglycan formation. The only annotated enzyme that could mediate this conversion is Amuc-NagB on locus Amuc_1822. We found that Amuc-NagB was unable to form GlcN6P from Fru6P at physiological conditions, while it efficiently catalyzed the reverse reaction. To overcome this inability, N-acetylglucosamine needs to be present in the medium for A.muciniphila growth. With these findings, the genome-scale metabolic model was updated and used to accurately predict growth of A.muciniphila on synthetic media. The finding that A.muciniphila has a necessity for GlcNAc, which is present in mucin further prompts the adaptation to its mucosal niche.
  • Cani, Patrice D.; de Vos, Willem M. (2017)
    Metabolic disorders associated with obesity and cardiometabolic disorders are worldwide epidemic. Among the different environmental factors, the gut microbiota is now considered as a key player interfering with energy metabolism and host susceptibility to several non-communicable diseases. Among the next-generation beneficial microbes that have been identified, Akkermansia muciniphila is a promising candidate. Indeed, A. muciniphila is inversely associated with obesity, diabetes, cardiometabolic diseases and low-grade inflammation. Besides the numerous correlations observed, a large body of evidence has demonstrated the causal beneficial impact of this bacterium in a variety of preclinical models. Translating these exciting observations to human would be the next logic step and it now appears that several obstacles that would prevent the use of A. muciniphila administration in humans have been overcome. Moreover, several lines of evidence indicate that pasteurization of A. muciniphila not only increases its stability but more importantly increases its efficacy. This strongly positions A. muciniphila in the forefront of next-generation candidates for developing novel food or pharma supplements with beneficial effects. Finally, a specific protein present on the outer membrane of A. muciniphila, termed Amuc_1100, could be strong candidate for future drug development. In conclusion, as plants and its related knowledge, known as pharmacognosy, have been the source for designing drugs over the last century, we propose that microbes and microbiomegnosy, or knowledge of our gut microbiome, can become a novel source of future therapies.
  • Ottman, Noora; Reunanen, Justus; Meijerink, Marjolein; Pietilä, Taija; Kainulainen, Veera; Klievink, Judith; Huuskonen, Laura; Aalvink, Steven; Skurnik, Mikael; Boeren, Sjef; Satokari, Reetta; Mercenier, Annick; Palva, Airi; Smidt, Hauke; de Vos, Willem M.; Belzer, Clara (2017)
    Gut barrier function is key in maintaining a balanced response between the host and its microbiome. The microbiota can modulate changes in gut barrier as well as metabolic and inflammatory responses. This highly complex system involves numerous microbiota-derived factors. The gut symbiont Akkermansia muciniphila is positively correlated with a lean phenotype, reduced body weight gain, amelioration of metabolic responses and restoration of gut barrier function by modulation of mucus layer thickness. However, the molecular mechanisms behind its metabolic and immunological regulatory properties are unexplored. Herein, we identify a highly abundant outer membrane pili-like protein of A. muciniphila MucT that is directly involved in immune regulation and enhancement of trans-epithelial resistance. The purified Amuc_1100 protein and enrichments containing all its associated proteins induced production of specific cytokines through activation of Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2 and TLR4. This mainly leads to high levels of IL-10 similar to those induced by the other beneficial immune suppressive microorganisms such as Faecalibacterium prausnitzii A2-165 and Lactobacillus plantarum WCFS1. Together these results indicate that outer membrane protein composition and particularly the newly identified highly abundant pili-like protein Amuc_1100 of A. muciniphila are involved in host immunological homeostasis at the gut mucosa, and improvement of gut barrier function.
  • EFSA Panel on Nutrition, Novel Foods and Food Allergens (NDA); Turck, Dominique; Heinonen, Marina (2021)
    Following a request from the European Commission, the EFSA Panel on Nutrition, Novel Foods and Food Allergens (NDA) was asked to deliver an opinion on pasteurised Akkermansia muciniphila as a novel food (NF) pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2015/2283. A. muciniphila is a well-characterised non-toxin producing, avirulent microorganism that has been reported as part of normal gut microbiota. The NF, pasteurised A. muciniphila, is proposed by the applicant to be used as a food supplement at max. 5 x 10(10) cells/day by adults excluding pregnant and lactating women, and in foods for special medical purposes. The Panel considers that the production process of the NF is sufficiently described and that the information provided on the composition of the NF is sufficient for its characterisation. Taking into account the composition of the NF and the proposed conditions of use, the consumption of the NF is not nutritionally disadvantageous. Based on literature data, and by applying an uncertainty factor of 200 to the no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) of a 90-day repeated dose oral toxicity study in rats, the Panel concludes that the consumption of 3.4 x 10(10) cells/day is safe for the target population under the provision that the number of viable cells in the NF is < 10 colony forming units (CFU)/g (i.e. limit of detection). (C) 2021 European Food Safety Authority. EFSA Journal published by John Wiley and Sons Ltd on behalf of European Food Safety Authority.