Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

International study suggests human genes influence gut microbial composition

07.01.2013
New publication in Gut

New research led by the Karolinska Institutet, Sweden and the University of Glasgow, Scotland, has identified a link between a human gene and the composition of human gastrointestinal bacteria.

In a study published as a letter to the journal Gut, the team outline new evidence suggesting that the human genome may play a role in determining the makeup of the billions of microbes in the human gastrointestinal tract collectively known as the gut microbiota.

Mauro D'Amato, Associate Professor at the Department of Biosciences and Nutrition at Karolinska Institutet, said: "The hypothesis that our genes contribute to tailor-make our microbiota is very attractive. We still do not know whether certain DNA variations can result in the assembling and perpetuation of specific microbiota profiles, and this may bear important implications for the potential to treat common diseases through therapeutic modification of the gut flora."

The microbiota, which evolved over tens of thousands of years alongside their human hosts, constitutes a complex and diverse community whose exact composition varies from person to person. It has numerous beneficial physiological and nutritional effects for humans; however, alterations in its bacterial composition have been linked to health problems including obesity and Crohn's disease.

Dr Christopher Quince, of the University of Glasgow's School of Engineering, said: "We ran a statistical analysis on bacterial DNA sequenced from samples of intestinal tissue from 51 healthy people with no history of bowel conditions in relation to 30 specific genes. These genes have been shown to increase the risk of Crohn's disease, and are likely to play an important role in gut-bacteria interactions. We found that DNA variation in one of these genes, known as IRGM, was associated with the presence of increased levels of a type of microbe known as Prevotella."

The research thus suggests that the IRGM gene could play a role in influencing the overall makeup of an individual's microbiota, pushing it towards Prevotella dominance instead of an alternative community dominated by a closely related bacteria, Bacteroides. Medical researchers are already considering therapeutic strategies to treat diseases by restoring 'normal' intestinal flora in patients by using pharmacological or dietary changes to create specific modifications in the gut microbiota. Future research, expanding on the current study, could help to more effectively target these treatments.

Associate Professor D'Amato said: "Primarily a proof-of-concept investigation, our pilot study reinforces the idea that large-scale analyses should be undertaken to unravel how variation in the entire human genome relates to variation in the human microbiota."

Dr Quince added: "This is a small study but it could have important implications. We've provided further evidence that the human microbiome may also depend on the human genome, which invites serious investigation in the future."

The study was conducted by an international team of scientists from Karolinska Institutet, University of Glasgow, University of Newcastle, Australia, Stockholm University, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden, and Science for Life Laboratory, Sweden. The work was funded by grants from the Swedish Research Council, AFA Insurance, the Swedish Society of Medicine, Ragnar Söderberg's Foundations, the EU FP7 consortium Tornado, and EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellowship.

Publication: 'The impact of Crohn's disease genes on healthy human gut microbiota: a pilot study', Christopher Quince, Elin Lundin, Anna N Andreasson, Dario Greco, Joseph Rafter, Nicholas J Talley, Lars Agreus, Anders F Andersson, Lars Engstrand, Mauro D'Amato, Gut, online 7 January 2013.

Journal website: gut.bmj.com

For further information, please contact:

Mauro D'Amato, Associate Professor
Department of Biosciences and Nutrition
Karolinska Institutet
Tel.: 46-852-481-046 or 46-704-355-514
Email: mauro.damato@ki.se
Christopher Quince, PhD
School of Engineering
University of Glasgow
Tel.: 44-141-330-6458
Email: christopher.quince@glasgow.ac.uk
Contact the Press Office: www.ki.se/pressroom
Karolinska Institutet is one of the world's leading medical universities. It accounts for over 40 per cent of the medical academic research conducted in Sweden and offers the country's broadest range of education in medicine and health sciences. Since 1901 the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet has selected the Nobel laureates in Physiology or Medicine.

Press Office | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ki.se
http://ki.se/english

Further reports about: Biosciences DNA Glasgow Medicine Nobel Prize Prevotella health problem human genome specific gene

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron cryo-microscopy: Using inexpensive technology to produce high-resolution images

Biochemists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have used a standard electron cryo-microscope to achieve surprisingly good images that are on par with those taken by far more sophisticated equipment. They have succeeded in determining the structure of ferritin almost at the atomic level. Their results were published in the journal "PLOS ONE".

Electron cryo-microscopy has become increasingly important in recent years, especially in shedding light on protein structures. The developers of the new...

Im Focus: The spin state story: Observation of the quantum spin liquid state in novel material

New insight into the spin behavior in an exotic state of matter puts us closer to next-generation spintronic devices

Aside from the deep understanding of the natural world that quantum physics theory offers, scientists worldwide are working tirelessly to bring forth a...

Im Focus: Excitation of robust materials

Kiel physics team observed extremely fast electronic changes in real time in a special material class

In physics, they are currently the subject of intensive research; in electronics, they could enable completely new functions. So-called topological materials...

Im Focus: Electrons in the fast lane

Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.

Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. During this process, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light....

Im Focus: The lightest electromagnetic shielding material in the world

Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.

Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Contact Tracing Apps against COVID-19: German National Academy Leopoldina hosts international virtual panel discussion

07.07.2020 | Event News

International conference QuApps shows status quo of quantum technology

02.07.2020 | Event News

Dresden Nexus Conference 2020: Same Time, Virtual Format, Registration Opened

19.05.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Robust high-performance data storage through magnetic anisotropy

13.07.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

Understanding the love-hate relationship of halide perovskites with the sun

13.07.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering

T-ray camera speed boosted a hundred times over

13.07.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>