Adaptation of Akkermansia muciniphila to the Oxic-Anoxic Interface of the Mucus Layer

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Ouwerkerk , J P , van der Ark , K C H , Davids , M , Claassens , N J , Finestra , T R , de Vos , W M & Belzer , C 2016 , ' Adaptation of Akkermansia muciniphila to the Oxic-Anoxic Interface of the Mucus Layer ' , Applied and Environmental Microbiology , vol. 82 , no. 23 , pp. 6983-6993 . https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.01641-16

Title: Adaptation of Akkermansia muciniphila to the Oxic-Anoxic Interface of the Mucus Layer
Author: Ouwerkerk, Janneke P.; van der Ark, Kees C. H.; Davids, Mark; Claassens, Nico J.; Finestra, Teresa Robert; de Vos, Willem M.; Belzer, Clara
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Medicum
Date: 2016-12
Language: eng
Number of pages: 11
Belongs to series: Applied and Environmental Microbiology
ISSN: 0099-2240
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/229287
Abstract: Akkermansia muciniphila colonizes the mucus layer of the gastrointestinal tract, where the organism can be exposed to the oxygen that diffuses from epithelial cells. To understand how A. muciniphila is able to survive and grow at this oxic-anoxic interface, its oxygen tolerance and response and reduction capacities were studied. A. muciniphila was found to be oxygen tolerant. On top of this, under aerated conditions, A. muciniphila showed significant oxygen reduction capacities and its growth rate and yield were increased compared to those seen under strict anaerobic conditions. Transcriptome analysis revealed an initial oxygen stress response upon exposure to oxygen. Thereafter, genes related to respiration were expressed, including those coding for the cytochrome bd complex, which can function as a terminal oxidase. The functionality of A. muciniphila cytochrome bd genes was proven by successfully complementing cytochrome-deficient Escherichia coli strain ECOM4. We conclude that A. muciniphila can use oxygen when it is present at nanomolar concentrations. IMPORTANCE This article explains how Akkermansia muciniphila, previously described as a strictly anaerobic bacterium, is able to tolerate and even benefit from low levels of oxygen. Interestingly, we measured growth enhancement of A. muciniphila and changes in metabolism as a result of the oxygen exposure. In this article, we discuss similarities and differences of this oxygen-responsive mechanism with respect to those of other intestinal anaerobic isolates. Taken together, we think that these are valuable data that indicate how anaerobic intestinal colonizing bacteria can exploit low levels of oxygen present in the mucus layer and that our results have direct relevance for applicability, as addition of low oxygen concentrations could benefit the in vitro growth of certain anaerobic organisms.
Subject: HUMAN GASTROINTESTINAL-TRACT
ESCHERICHIA-COLI
GENE-EXPRESSION
BACTERIA
OXYGEN
TOLERANCE
CELL
RNA
RESPIRATION
MICROBIOTA
1183 Plant biology, microbiology, virology
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