Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Human genes influence gut microbial composition, study suggests

Date:
January 7, 2013
Source:
Karolinska Institutet
Summary:
New research has identified a link between a human gene and the composition of human gastrointestinal bacteria. In a new study, scientists 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.

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 "norma" 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 Sφderberg s Foundations, the EU FP7 consortium Tornado, and EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellowship.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Karolinska Institutet. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Christopher Quince, Elin E Lundin, Anna N Andreasson, Dario Greco, Joseph Rafter, Nicholas J Talley, Lars Agreus, Anders F Andersson, Lars Engstrand, Mauro D'Amato. The impact of Crohn's disease genes on healthy human gut microbiota: a pilot study. Gut, 2013; DOI: 10.1136/gutjnl-2012-304214

Cite This Page:

Karolinska Institutet. "Human genes influence gut microbial composition, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130107082604.htm>.
Karolinska Institutet. (2013, January 7). Human genes influence gut microbial composition, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130107082604.htm
Karolinska Institutet. "Human genes influence gut microbial composition, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130107082604.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) — Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) — Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) — The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) — Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:  

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile iPhone Android Web
      Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins