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Dietary metabolites derived from gut microbiota: critical modulators of epigenetic changes in mammals.

Authors
  • Bhat, Mohd Iqbal1
  • Kapila, Rajeev1
  • 1 Mohd I. Bhat and R. Kapila are with Animal Biochemistry Division, ICAR-National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, Haryana, India. , (India)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Nutrition Reviews
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Publication Date
May 01, 2017
Volume
75
Issue
5
Pages
374–389
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1093/nutrit/nux001
PMID: 28444216
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

The mammalian gastrointestinal tract harbors trillions of commensal microorganisms, collectively known as the microbiota. The microbiota is a critical source of environmental stimuli and, thus, has a tremendous impact on the health of the host. The microbes within the microbiota regulate homeostasis within the gut, and any alteration in their composition can lead to disorders that include inflammatory bowel disease, allergy, autoimmune disease, diabetes, mental disorders, and cancer. Hence, restoration of the gut flora following changes or imbalance is imperative for the host. The low-molecular-weight compounds and nutrients such as short-chain fatty acids, polyamines, polyphenols, and vitamins produced by microbial metabolism of nondigestible food components in the gut actively participate in various epigenomic mechanisms that reprogram the genome by altering the transcriptional machinery of a cell in response to environmental stimuli. These epigenetic modifications are caused by a set of highly dynamic enzymes, notably histone acetylases, deacetylases, DNA methylases, and demethylases, that are influenced by microbial metabolites and other environmental cues. Recent studies have shown that host expression of histone acetylases and histone deacetylases is important for regulating communication between the intestinal microbiota and the host cells. Histone acetylases and deacetylases influence the molecular expression of genes that affect not only physiological functions but also behavioral shifts that occur via neuroepigenetic modifications of genes. The underlying molecular mechanisms, however, have yet to be fully elucidated and thus provide a new area of research. The present review provides insights into the current understanding of the microbiota and its association with mammalian epigenomics as well as the interaction of pathogens and probiotics with host epigenetic machinery.

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