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Mucosal glycan degradation of the host by the gut microbiota.

Authors
  • Bell, Andrew1
  • Juge, Nathalie1
  • 1 The Gut Microbes and Health Institute Strategic Programme, Quadram Institute Bioscience, Rosalind Franklin Road Norwich Research Park, Norwich NR4 7UQ, UK.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Glycobiology
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Publication Date
Jun 29, 2021
Volume
31
Issue
6
Pages
691–696
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1093/glycob/cwaa097
PMID: 33043970
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

The gut microbiota plays a major role in human health and an alteration in gut microbiota structure and function has been implicated in several diseases. In the colon, mucus covering the epithelium is critical to maintain a homeostatic relationship with the gut microbiota by harboring a microbial community at safe distance from the epithelium surface. The mucin glycans composing the mucus layer provide binding sites and a sustainable source of nutrients to the bacteria inhabiting the mucus niche. Access to these glycan chains requires a complement of glycoside hydrolases (GHs) produced by bacteria across the phyla constituting the human gut microbiota. Due to the increased recognition of the role of mucus-associated microbes in human health, how commensal bacteria breakdown and utilize host mucin glycans has become of increased interest and is reviewed here. This short review provides an overview of the strategies evolved by gut commensal bacteria to access this rich source of the nutrient with a focus on the GHs involved in mucin degradation. © The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press.

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