Accessibility navigation

Sulfation of arabinogalactan proteins confers privileged nutrient status to Bacteroides plebeius

Munoz-Munoz, J., Ndeh, D., Fernandez-Julia, P., Walton, G. ORCID:, Henrissat, B. and Gilbert, H. J. (2021) Sulfation of arabinogalactan proteins confers privileged nutrient status to Bacteroides plebeius. mBio, 12 (4). ISSN 2150-7511

Text (Open Access) - Published Version
· Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.
· Please see our End User Agreement before downloading.

[img] Text - Accepted Version
· Restricted to Repository staff only
· The Copyright of this document has not been checked yet. This may affect its availability.


It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.

To link to this item DOI: 10.1128/mBio.01368-21


The human gut microbiota (HGM) contributes to the physiology and health of its host. The health benefits provided by dietary manipulation of the HGM requires knowledge of how glycans, the major nutrients available to this ecosystem, are metabolized. Arabinogalactan proteins (AGPs) are a ubiquitous feature of plant polysaccharides available to the HGM. Although the galactan backbone and galactooligosaccharide side chains of AGPs are conserved, the decorations of these structures are highly variable. Here we tested the hypothesis that these variations in arabinogalactan decoration provides a selection mechanism for specific Bacteroides species within the HGM. The data showed that only a single bacterium, B. plebeius, grew on red wine (Wi-AGP) and seaweed (SW-AGP) AGP in mono- or mixed culture. Wi-AGP thus acts as a privileged nutrient for a Bacteroides species within the HGM that utilizes marine and terrestrial plant glycans. The B. plebeius polysaccharide utilization loci (PULs) upregulated by AGPs encoded a polysaccharide lyase, located in the enzyme family GH145, which hydrolysed Rha-Glc linkages in Wi-AGP. Further analysis of GH145 identified an enzyme with two active sites that displayed glycoside hydrolase and lyase activities, respectively, which conferred substrate flexibility for different AGPs. The AGP degrading apparatus of B. plebeius also contained a sulfatase, BACPLE00986, active on SW-AGP and Wi-AGP, which played a pivotal role in the utilization of these glycans by the bacterium. BACPLE00986 enabled other Bacteroides species to access the sulfated AGPs, providing a route to introducing privileged nutrient utilization into probiotic and commensal organisms that could improve human health.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences > Food Microbial Sciences Research Group
ID Code:99286
Publisher:American Society for Microbiology


Downloads per month over past year

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation