Researchers from the Institute of Food Research and the University of East Anglia have discovered how the beneficial bacteria in our guts communicate with our own cells. Here, Dr Regis Stentz of the GHFS programme talks about uncovering a novel signalling mechanism from commensal bacteria with potential to influence host epithelial cells and how this signal is protected from degradation in the gut.
Over the past few decades, it became clear to gut physiologists and microbiologists that the establishment of complex symbiotic relationships between the gut microbiome and the host intestinal cells is essential for health. It is known that commensal bacteria from the gut use diffusible small molecules such as hormones and nutrients to interact at a distance with the host. In this article, we describe a new crosstalk mechanism involving an enzyme packaged into outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) produced by the prevalent symbiotic gut bacterium, Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron.
First of all, our study has identified and characterised for the first time a homolog of a eukaryotic inositolphosphate signaling phosphatase, MINPP, in major species of human gut bacterial genomes. This is novel, as bacteria have not previously been thought to use the inositol phosphate signaling cascade
Via Jonathan Middleton