Home  |  Top News  |  Most Popular  |  Video  |  Multimedia  |  News Feeds  |  Feedback
  Medicine  |  Nature & Earth  |  Biology  |  Technology & Engineering  |  Space & Planetary  |  Psychology  |  Physics & Chemistry  |  Economics  |  Archaeology
Top > Medicine, Health Care > International Study Suggests Human Genes… >
International Study Suggests Human Genes Influence Gut Microbial Composition

Published: January 7, 2013.
By Karolinska Institutet
http://info.ki.se/ki

New research led by the Karolinska Institutet, Sweden and the University of Glasgow, Scotland, has identified a link between a human gene and the composition of human gastrointestinal bacteria. In a study published as a letter to the journal Gut, the team outline new evidence suggesting that the human genome may play a role in determining the makeup of the billions of microbes in the human gastrointestinal tract collectively known as the gut microbiota.

Mauro D'Amato, Associate Professor at the Department of Biosciences and Nutrition at Karolinska Institutet, said: "The hypothesis that our genes contribute to tailor-make our microbiota is very attractive. We still do not know whether certain DNA variations can result in the assembling and perpetuation of specific microbiota profiles, and this may bear important implications for the potential to treat common diseases through therapeutic modification of the gut flora."

The microbiota, which evolved over tens of thousands of years alongside their human hosts, constitutes a complex and diverse community whose exact composition varies from person to person. It has numerous beneficial physiological and nutritional effects for humans; however, alterations in its bacterial composition have been linked to health problems including obesity and Crohn's disease.

Dr Christopher Quince, of the University of Glasgow's School of Engineering, said: "We ran a statistical analysis on bacterial DNA sequenced from samples of intestinal tissue from 51 healthy people with no history of bowel conditions in relation to 30 specific genes. These genes have been shown to increase the risk of Crohn's disease, and are likely to play an important role in gut-bacteria interactions. We found that DNA variation in one of these genes, known as IRGM, was associated with the presence of increased levels of a type of microbe known as Prevotella."

The research thus suggests that the IRGM gene could play a role in influencing the overall makeup of an individual's microbiota, pushing it towards Prevotella dominance instead of an alternative community dominated by a closely related bacteria, Bacteroides. Medical researchers are already considering therapeutic strategies to treat diseases by restoring 'normal' intestinal flora in patients by using pharmacological or dietary changes to create specific modifications in the gut microbiota. Future research, expanding on the current study, could help to more effectively target these treatments.

Associate Professor D'Amato said: "Primarily a proof-of-concept investigation, our pilot study reinforces the idea that large-scale analyses should be undertaken to unravel how variation in the entire human genome relates to variation in the human microbiota."

Dr Quince added: "This is a small study but it could have important implications. We've provided further evidence that the human microbiome may also depend on the human genome, which invites serious investigation in the future."


Show Reference »


Translate this page: Chinese French German Italian Japanese Korean Portuguese Russian Spanish


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the ScienceNewsline.
Related »

Gene 
2/4/13 
A Little Tag with a Large Effect
By Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research
February 4, 2013, New York, NY and Oxford, UK – Nearly every cell in the human body carries a copy of the full human genome. So how is it …
Genes 
3/25/13 
★★★ 
You Don't 'Own' Your Own Genes
By Weill Cornell Medical College
NEW YORK (March 25, 2013) -- Humans don't "own" their own genes, the cellular chemicals that define who they are and what diseases they might be at risk for. …
Sequences 
1/25/11 

New Method for Rapidly Producing Protein-polymers
By Duke University
Sequences 
8/12/13 
Advanced Technology Reveals New Epilepsy Genes
By University of Melbourne
Results from a landmark international study using state of the art technology has revealed new genetic mutations that cause epilepsy. The findings could help to advance treatments for the …
Sequence 
2/19/14 

A Challenge to the Genetic Interpretation of Biology
By University of Eastern Finland
Mrnas 
2/7/11 
Save Messengers - Modified MRNAs Open Up New Therapeutic Possibilities
By Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Defects in the genome are the cause of many diseases. Gene therapy – direct replacement of mutant genes by intact DNA copies – offers a means of correcting such …
Researchers 
10/18/11 
UGA Scientists Team Up to Define First-ever Sequence of Biologically Important Carbohydrate
By University of Georgia
If genes provide the blueprint for life and proteins are the machines that do much of the work for cells, then carbohydrates that are linked to proteins are among …
More » 

Most Popular - Medicine »
MARIJUANA »
Casual Marijuana Use Linked to Brain Abnormalities in Students
CHICAGO --- Young adults who used marijuana only recreationally showed significant abnormalities in two key brain regions that are important in emotion and motivation, scientists report. The study was …
IMMUNE »
The Immune System's Redesigned Role in Fighting Cancerous Tumors
LOS ANGELES (March 11, 2014) – Researchers in the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute eradicated solid tumors in laboratory mice using a novel combination of two targeted agents. …
MILK »
The Surprising Consequences of Banning Chocolate Milk
SURVIVORS »
New Research Shows People Are Thinking About Their Health Early in the Week
San Diego, Calif. (April 18, 2014) ― A new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine analyzing weekly patterns in health-related Google searches reveals a recurring pattern that …
BULLYING »
Impact of Childhood Bullying Still Evident After 40 Years
The negative social, physical and mental health effects of childhood bullying are still evident nearly 40 years later, according to new research by King's College London. The study is …
ScienceNewsline  |  About  |  Privacy Policy  |  Feedback  |  Mobile  |  Japanese
The selection and placement of stories are determined automatically by a computer program. All contents are copyright of their owners except U.S. Government works. U.S. Government works are assumed to be in the public domain unless otherwise noted. Everything else copyright ScienceNewsline.