Metabolic cross-feeding in imbalanced diets allows gut microbes to improve reproduction and alter host behaviour

Henriques, S. F. et al. (2020) Metabolic cross-feeding in imbalanced diets allows gut microbes to improve reproduction and alter host behaviour. Nature Communications, 11, 4236. (doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-18049-9) (PMID:32843654) (PMCID:PMC7447780)

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The impact of commensal bacteria on the host arises from complex microbial-diet-host interactions. Mapping metabolic interactions in gut microbial communities is therefore key to understand how the microbiome influences the host. Here we use an interdisciplinary approach including isotope-resolved metabolomics to show that in Drosophila melanogaster, Acetobacter pomorum (Ap) and Lactobacillus plantarum (Lp) a syntrophic relationship is established to overcome detrimental host diets and identify Ap as the bacterium altering the host’s feeding decisions. Specifically, we show that Ap uses the lactate produced by Lp to supply amino acids that are essential to Lp, allowing it to grow in imbalanced diets. Lactate is also necessary and sufficient for Ap to alter the fly’s protein appetite. Our data show that gut bacterial communities use metabolic interactions to become resilient to detrimental host diets. These interactions also ensure the constant flow of metabolites used by the microbiome to alter reproduction and host behaviour.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Maddocks, Professor Oliver and Zhang, Mr Tong
Authors: Henriques, S. F., Dhakan, D. B., Serra, L., Francisco, A. P., Carvalho-Santos, Z., Baltazar, C., Elias, A. P., Anjos, M., Zhang, T., Maddocks, O. D.K., and Ribeiro, C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Cancer Sciences
Journal Name:Nature Communications
Publisher:Nature Research
ISSN (Online):2041-1723
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Nature Communications 11: 4236
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
171982Targeting Tumour Metabolism for Cancer Therapy and Diagnosis.Oliver MaddocksCancer Research UK (CRUK)C53309/A19702Institute of Cancer Sciences