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Human gut Bacteroidetes can utilize yeast mannan through a selfish mechanism

DOI: 10.1038/nature13995 DOI Help

Authors: Fiona Cuskin (Newcastle University) , Elisabeth C. Lowe (Newcastle University) , Max J. Temple (Newcastle University) , Yanping Zhu (Newcastle University) , Elizabeth A. Cameron (University of Michigan Medical School) , Nicholas A. Pudlo (University of Michigan Medical School) , Nathan T. Porter (University of Michigan Medical School) , Karthik Urs (University of Michigan Medical School) , Andrew J. Thompson (University of York) , Alan Cartmell (University of Melbourne) , Artur Rogowski (Newcastle University) , Brian S. Hamilton (Indiana University) , Rui Chen (Indiana University) , Thomas J. Tolbert (University of Kansas School of Pharmacy) , Kathleen Piens (Oxyrane, Belgium) , Debby Bracke (Oxyrane, Belgium) , Wouter Vervecken (Oxyrane, Belgium) , Zalihe Hakki (University of Melbourne) , Gaetano Speciale (University of Melbourne) , Jose L. Munoz-munoz (Newcastle University)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Nature , VOL 517 (7533) , PAGES 165 - 169

State: Published (Approved)
Published: January 2015
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 7864

Abstract: Yeasts, which have been a component of the human diet for at least 7,000 years, possess an elaborate cell wall α-mannan. The influence of yeast mannan on the ecology of the human microbiota is unknown. Here we show that yeast α-mannan is a viable food source for the Gram-negative bacterium Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, a dominant member of the microbiota. Detailed biochemical analysis and targeted gene disruption studies support a model whereby limited cleavage of α-mannan on the surface generates large oligosaccharides that are subsequently depolymerized to mannose by the action of periplasmic enzymes. Co-culturing studies showed that metabolism of yeast mannan by B. thetaiotaomicron presents a ‘selfishÂ’ model for the catabolism of this difficult to breakdown polysaccharide. Genomic comparison with B. thetaiotaomicron in conjunction with cell culture studies show that a cohort of highly successful members of the microbiota has evolved to consume sterically-restricted yeast glycans, an adaptation that may reflect the incorporation of eukaryotic microorganisms into the human diet.

Subject Areas: Biology and Bio-materials, Chemistry, Medicine


Instruments: I03-Macromolecular Crystallography

Other Facilities: Canadian Light Source