Key Biochemical Process Measured in the Gut Microbiome for the First Time

Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2020

Researchers in the Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology have measured for the first time a key biochemical process occurring within the microbiome and pointed to roles it may play in human health. Protein lysine acetylation is a mechanism that regulates the function of bacteria, but it has never been studied directly in the gut microbiome community. Their paper was published this week in Nature Communications.

Using the platform they developed to measure this process, Dr. Xu Zhang in the labs of professors Alain Stintzi and Daniel Figeys, in collaboration with professor David Mack (Director of the CHEO Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Centre and a Senior Scientist at CHEO Research Institute), professor Jean-Francois Couture, and colleagues from Cell Signaling Technology Inc showed that lysine acetylation is widespread and abundant in our gut microbiome. In a demonstration of the platform’s potential, they also detected functional differences in the microbiome of those with Crohn’s disease compared with healthy participants.

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