Bifidobacterium infantis Metabolizes 2'Fucosyllactose-Derived and Free Fucose Through a Common Catabolic Pathway Resulting in 1,2-Propanediol Secretion.
ABSTRACT: Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) enrich beneficial bifidobacteria in the infant gut microbiome which produce molecules that impact development and physiology. 2'fucosyllactose (2'FL) is a highly abundant fucosylated HMO which is utilized by Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis, despite limited scientific understanding of the underlying mechanism. Moreover, there is not a current consensus on whether free fucose could be metabolized when not incorporated in a larger oligosaccharide structure. Based on metabolic and genomic analyses, we hypothesize that B. infantis catabolizes both free fucose and fucosyl oligosaccharide residues to produce 1,2-propanediol (1,2-PD). Accordingly, systems-level approaches including transcriptomics and proteomics support this metabolic path. Co-fermentation of fucose and limiting lactose or glucose was found to promote significantly higher biomass and 1,2-PD concentrations than individual substrates, suggesting a synergistic effect. In addition, and during growth on 2'FL, B. infantis achieves significantly higher biomass corresponding to increased 1,2-PD. These findings support a singular fucose catabolic pathway in B. infantis that is active on both free and HMO-derived fucose and intimately linked with central metabolism. The impact of fucose and 2'FL metabolism on B. infantis physiology provides insight into the role of fucosylated HMOs in influencing host- and microbe-microbe interactions within the infant gut microbiome.
Project description:Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) function as prebiotics for beneficial bacteria in the developing gut, often dominated by Bifidobacterium spp. To understand the relationship between bifidobacteria utilizing HMOs and how the metabolites that are produced could affect the host, we analyzed the metabolism of HMO 2'-fucosyllactose (2'-FL) in Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis Bi-26. RNA-seq and metabolite analysis (NMR/GCMS) was performed on samples at early (A600 = 0.25), mid-log (0.5-0.7) and late-log phases (1.0-2.0) of growth. Transcriptomic analysis revealed many gene clusters including three novel ABC-type sugar transport clusters to be upregulated in Bi-26 involved in processing of 2'-FL along with metabolism of its monomers glucose, fucose and galactose. Metabolite data confirmed the production of formate, acetate, 1,2-propanediol, lactate and cleaving of fucose from 2'-FL. The formation of acetate, formate, and lactate showed how the cell uses metabolites during fermentation to produce higher levels of ATP (mid-log compared to other stages) or generate cofactors to balance redox. We concluded that 2'-FL metabolism is a complex process involving multiple gene clusters, that produce a more diverse metabolite profile compared to lactose. These results provide valuable insight on the mode-of-action of 2'-FL utilization by Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis Bi-26.
Project description:The human gut microbiota established during infancy has persistent effects on health. In vitro studies have suggested that human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) in breast milk promote the formation of a bifidobacteria-rich microbiota in infant guts; however, the underlying molecular mechanism remains elusive. Here, we characterized two functionally distinct but overlapping fucosyllactose transporters (FL transporter-1 and -2) from Bifidobacterium longum subspecies infantis. Fecal DNA and HMO consumption analyses, combined with deposited metagenome data mining, revealed that FL transporter-2 is primarily associated with the bifidobacteria-rich microbiota formation in breast-fed infant guts. Structural analyses of the solute-binding protein (SBP) of FL transporter-2 complexed with 2'-fucosyllactose and 3-fucosyllactose, together with phylogenetic analysis of SBP homologs of both FL transporters, highlight a unique adaptation strategy of Bifidobacterium to HMOs, in which the gain-of-function mutations enable FL transporter-2 to efficiently capture major fucosylated HMOs. Our results provide a molecular insight into HMO-mediated symbiosis and coevolution between bifidobacteria and humans.
Project description:Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) are highly diverse complex carbohydrates secreted in human milk. HMOs are indigestible by the infant and instead are metabolized by bifidobacteria in the infant gut microbiome to produce molecules that promote infant health and development. 2´fucosyllactose (2´FL) is an abundant HMO and is utilized by Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis, a predominant member of the infant gut microbiome. Currently, there is not a scientific consensus on how or if bifidobacteria metabolize the fucose portion of 2´FL or free fucose. This proteomic analysis was conducted in order to characterize the metabolic pathway by which B. infantis utilizes fucose.
Project description:To study the variability in human milk oligosaccharide (HMO) composition of Chinese human milk over a 20-wk lactation period, HMO profiles of 30 mothers were analyzed using CE-LIF. This study showed that total HMO concentrations in Chinese human milk decreased significantly over a 20-wk lactation period, independent of the mother's SeLe status, although with individual variations. In addition, total acidic and neutral HMO concentrations in Chinese human milk decreased over lactation, and levels are driven by their mother's SeLe status. Analysis showed that total neutral fucosylated HMO concentrations in Chinese human milk were higher in the two secretor groups as compared to the nonsecretor group. On the basis of the total neutral fucosylated HMO concentrations in Chinese human milk, HMO profiles within the Se+Le+ group can be divided into two subgroups. HMOs that differed in level between Se+Le+ subgroups were 2'FL, DF-L, LNFP I, and F-LNO. HMO profiles in Dutch human milk also showed Se+Le+ subgroup division, with 2'FL, LNT, and F-LNO as the driving force.
Project description:Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) function as prebiotics for beneficial bacteria in the developing gut, often dominated by Bifidobacterium spp. To understand the relationship between Bifidobacterium utilizing HMOs and how the metabolites that are produced could affect the host, we analyzed the metabolism of HMO 2’-fucosyllactose (2’-FL) in Bifidobacterium longum ssp. infantis Bi-26. RNA-seq and metabolite analysis (NMR/GCMS) was performed on samples at early (A600=0.25), mid-log (0.5-0.7) and late-log phases (1.0-2.0) of growth. Transcriptomic analysis revealed many gene clusters including three novel ABC-type sugar transport clusters to be upregulated in Bi-26 involved in processing of 2’-FL along with metabolism of its monomers glucose, fucose and galactose. Metabolite data confirmed the production of formate, acetate, 1,2-propanediol, lactate and cleaving of fucose from 2’-FL. The formation of acetate, formate, and lactate showed how the cell uses metabolites during fermentation to produce higher levels of ATP (mid-log compared to other stages) or generate cofactors to balance redox. We concluded 2’-FL metabolism is a complex process involving gene clusters throughout the genome producing more metabolites compared to lactose. These results provide valuable insight on the mode-of-action of 2’-FL utilization by Bifidobacterium longum ssp. infantis Bi-26. Overall design: Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis strain Bi-26 was used in this study with 2'-FL as the test carbon source and lactose as the control carbon source, Samples were done in duplicate with samples taken at early phase (A600 ~0.2) mid log (0.5-1.1) and late log (1.1+)
Project description:The infant intestinal microbiota is often colonized by two subspecies of Bifidobacterium longum: subsp. infantis (B. infantis) and subsp. longum (B. longum). Competitive growth of B. infantis in the neonate intestine has been linked to the utilization of human milk oligosaccharides (HMO). However, little is known how B. longum consumes HMO. In this study, infant-borne B. longum strains exhibited varying HMO growth phenotypes. While all strains efficiently utilized lacto-N-tetraose, certain strains additionally metabolized fucosylated HMO. B. longum SC596 grew vigorously on HMO, and glycoprofiling revealed a preference for consumption of fucosylated HMO. Transcriptomes of SC596 during early-stage growth on HMO were more similar to growth on fucosyllactose, transiting later to a pattern similar to growth on neutral HMO. B. longum SC596 contains a novel gene cluster devoted to the utilization of fucosylated HMO, including genes for import of fucosylated molecules, fucose metabolism and two ?-fucosidases. This cluster showed a modular induction during early growth on HMO and fucosyllactose. This work clarifies the genomic and physiological variation of infant-borne B. longum to HMO consumption, which resembles B. infantis. The capability to preferentially consume fucosylated HMO suggests a competitive advantage for these unique B. longum strains in the breast-fed infant gut.
Project description:Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis ATCC 15697 utilizes several small-mass neutral human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), several of which are fucosylated. Whereas previous studies focused on endpoint consumption, a temporal glycan consumption profile revealed a time-dependent effect. Specifically, among preferred HMOs, tetraose was favored early in fermentation, with other oligosaccharides consumed slightly later. In order to utilize fucosylated oligosaccharides, ATCC 15697 possesses several fucosidases, implicating GH29 and GH95 α-L-fucosidases in a gene cluster dedicated to HMO metabolism. Evaluation of the biochemical kinetics demonstrated that ATCC 15697 expresses three fucosidases with a high turnover rate. Moreover, several ATCC 15697 fucosidases are active on the linkages inherent to the HMO molecule. Finally, the HMO cluster GH29 α-L-fucosidase possesses a crystal structure that is similar to previously characterized fucosidases.
Project description:Newborns are colonized with an intestinal microbiota shortly after birth, but the factors governing the retention and abundance of specific microbial lineages are unknown. Nursing infants consume human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) that pass undigested to the distal gut, where they may be digested by microbes. We determined that the prominent neonate gut residents, Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron and Bacteroides fragilis, induce the same genes during HMO consumption that are used to harvest host mucus glycans, which are structurally similar to HMOs. Lacto-N-neotetraose, a specific HMO component, selects for HMO-adapted species such as Bifidobacterium infantis, which cannot use mucus, and provides a selective advantage to B. infantis in vivo when biassociated with B. thetaiotaomicron in the gnotobiotic mouse gut. This indicates that the complex oligosaccharide mixture within HMOs attracts both mutualistic mucus-adapted species and HMO-adapted bifidobacteria to the infant intestine that likely facilitate both milk and future solid food digestion.
Project description:Breast milk enhances the predominance of Bifidobacterium species in the infant gut, probably due to its large concentration of human milk oligosaccharides (HMO). Here we screened infant-gut isolates of Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis and Bifidobacterium bifidum using individual HMO, and compared the global transcriptomes of representative isolates on major HMO by RNA-seq. While B. infantis displayed homogeneous HMO-utilization patterns, B. bifidum were more diverse and some strains did not use fucosyllactose (FL) or sialyllactose (SL). Transcriptomes of B. bifidum SC555 and B. infantis ATCC 15697 showed that utilization of pooled HMO is similar to neutral HMO, while transcriptomes for growth on FL were more similar to lactose than HMO in B. bifidum. Genes linked to HMO-utilization were upregulated by neutral HMO and SL, but not by FL in both species. In contrast, FL induced the expression of alternative gene clusters in B. infantis. Results also suggest that B. bifidum SC555 does not utilize fucose or sialic acid from HMO. Surprisingly, expression of orthologous genes differed between both bifidobacteria even when grown on identical substrates. This study highlights two major strategies found in Bifidobacterium species to process HMO, and presents detailed information on the close relationship between HMO and infant-gut bifidobacteria.
Project description:Apart from optimal nutritional value, human milk is the feeding strategy to support the immature immunological system of developing newborns and infants. The most beneficial dietary carbohydrate components of breast milk are human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) and glycoproteins (HMGs), involved in both specific and nonspecific immunity. Fucosylated oligosaccharides represent the largest fraction of human milk oligosaccharides, with the simplest and the most abundant being 2'-fucosyllactose (2'FL). Fucosylated oligosaccharides, as well as glycans of glycoproteins, as beneficial dietary sugars, elicit anti-adhesive properties against fucose-dependent pathogens, and on the other hand are crucial for growth and metabolism of beneficial bacteria, and in this aspect participate in shaping a healthy microbiome. Well-documented secretor status related differences in the fucosylation profile of HMOs and HMGs may play a key but underestimated role in assessment of susceptibility to fucose-dependent pathogen infections, with a potential impact on applied clinical procedures. Nevertheless, due to genetic factors, about 20% of mothers do not provide their infants with beneficial dietary carbohydrates such as 2'-FL and other ?1,2-fucosylated oligosaccharides and glycans of glycoproteins, despite breastfeeding them. The lack of such structures may have important implications for a wide range of aspects of infant well-being and healthcare. In light of the above, some artificial mixtures used in infant nutrition are supplemented with 2'-FL to more closely approximate the unique composition of maternal milk, including dietary-derived fucosylated oligosaccharides and glycoproteins.