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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Diet, Genomics and Immunology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #347000

Research Project: Regulatory Mechanisms Induced by Health-Promoting Bioactive Food Components on Sex Steroid Hormone-Dependent Pathways, Cancer Cell-Stromal Cell Interactions, and the Gut Microbiome

Location: Diet, Genomics and Immunology Laboratory

Title: Plant miRNAs in food alter gut microbiota in a rodent model

Author
item HUANG, HAIQIU - Former ARS Employee
item DAVIS, CINDY - National Institutes Of Health (NIH)
item Wang, Thomas - Tom

Submitted to: PLoS ONE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/21/2020
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are ubiquitously found in microorganisms, plants, and animals. Accumulating evidence suggests they are involved in the regulation of a wide range of critical biological processes. The human gut microbiota form the interface between the diet and the human body, and upon consumption, dietary miRNAs are in direct contact with the gut microbiota. The effect of dietary miRNAs on gut microbiota composition has not been examined. This study reported a novel observation that plant miRNAs regulated gut microbiota composition. In silico analysis demonstrated that corn miRNAs can align with functionally important gut bacteria genome sequences, suggesting a possible interaction between plant miRNAs and the gut bacteria. Corn miRNAs were not degraded, and retained their intact sequences when co-incubated with fecal bacteria culture in vitro which resulted in a significant increase of Firmicutes. Corn miRNAs were then fed to C57BL/6 mice via gavage or diet supplementation for two weeks. At the end of the study, a decrease of Firmicutes in the cecum was observed in the mouse model. This observation revealed a previously unknown interaction between plant miRNAs and gut microbiota and may provide new understanding of the interactions between diet components and gut microbiota. This work will provide information to allow basic and translational Scientists understand how small RNA from plants influence gut microbiome.

Technical Abstract: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are ubiquitously found in microorganisms, plants, and animals. Accumulating evidence suggests they are involved in the regulation of a wide range of critical biological processes. The human gut microbiota form the interface between the diet and the human body, and upon consumption, dietary miRNAs are in direct contact with the gut microbiota. The effect of dietary miRNAs on gut microbiota composition has not been examined. This study reported a novel observation that plant miRNAs regulated gut microbiota composition. In silico analysis demonstrated that corn miRNAs can align with functionally important gut bacteria genome sequences, suggesting a possible interaction between plant miRNAs and the gut bacteria. Corn miRNAs were not degraded and retained their intact sequences when co-incubated with fecal bacteria culture in vitro and resulted in a significant increase of Firmicutes. Corn miRNAs were then fed to C57BL/6 mice via gavage or diet supplementation for two weeks. At the end of the study, a decrease of Firmicutes in the cecum was observed in the mouse model. This observation revealed a previously unknown interaction between plant miRNAs and gut microbiota and may provide new understanding of the interactions between diet components and gut microbiota.