In the absence of the molecule that builds these two mucus layers allows the bacteria can reach the epithelial cells, cause inflammation and later on colon cancer as shown by research at the Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg in collaboration with Uppsala University and Albert Einstein, New York.
All human beings have more than two pounds of bacteria in their large intestine and the number of bacteria outnumbers the total number of cells in the body by a factor of 10. How we can live with all these bacteria without deleterious effects or diseases have not been understood until now.
A couple of years ago, the research group of Lena Holm at Uppsala University could show that that there were two mucus layers in the colon that together gave a millimeter thick mucus layer.
- We understood already at that time that this must be important for protecting the large intestine, but we could not guess that the inner layer was such a good barrier for bacteria, says Professor Lena Holm at Uppsala University that has taken part in the current research.
In the article it is shown that both mucus layers have an identical composition where an enormous mucin protein called Muc2 is the main constituent. This is a protein that the Gothenburg group has been working on for more than 10 years to understand its function. The Muc2 mucin and other components is formed in the goblet cells where the inner mucus layer is attached. This layer is continuously renewed from below and after a tenth of a millimeter it is released and expanded in volume at least four times. This outer layer can then be transported away together with the intestinal content.
When the authors studied were all the intestinal bacteria were located, it was observed that the inner mucus layer was devoid of bacteria and that all bacteria were in the outer layer.
- It was really fascinating to find that the inner mucus layer lacked bacteria and that it was such a sharp border between the inner and outer mucus layers, says Ph.D. student Malin Johansson that has done most of the studies.
The mucus layer of colon build by the Muc2 mucin is a dense network that makes a physical obstacle for the bacteria to penetrate down through the mucus to reach the intestinal cells. When this mucus layer expands in volume in the outer layer it becomes a thriving milieu for the intestinal bacteria that also feed on the Muc2 mucin.When the research group studied what happens in mice that lack the Muc2 mucin, the bacteria were not only found to be in direct contact with the intestinal cells, but could also penetrate down into the crypts and into the intestinal epithelial cells. These animals got an inflammation and later on colon cancer, a scenario that is similar to the human disease ulcerative colitis.
- Ulcerative colitis is a serious disease, but researchers have still not understood the cause of this disease. We believe that the solution to this puzzle is to be found in defects in the mucus layer that protects the large intestine, says Professor Gunnar C. Hansson that has directed the current research.Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA
Authors: Malin E.V. Johansson, Mia Phillipson, Joel Petterson, Anna Velcich, Lena Holm, and Gunnar C. HanssonFor more information, please contact:
Ph. D. student Malin Johansson, Dept. Medical Biochemistry, University of Gothenburg, tel: +46-31-773 3070, email: email@example.com
Professor Lena Holm, Dept. Medical cellbiology, Uppsala University, tel: +46-18-471 43 25, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Eva Lundgren | idw
How prenatal maternal infections may affect genetic factors in Autism spectrum disorder
22.03.2017 | University of California - San Diego
22.03.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
22.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
22.03.2017 | Materials Sciences