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Microbes are capable to control the actions of the genes of his master

00:43
Today
Telegraph

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In recent years, scientists have identified numerous connections between the trillions of resident bacteria, viruses and fungi that form the microbiome.

All animals, from sea sponges to modern humans, evolved in a world already populated by microbes. These single-celled microorganisms that cover almost every inch of our body and are as much a part of our biology, such as tissues and organs. They form the immune system, regulate metabolism, and, as it turned out, affect our behavior.

Researchers from Duke University found that microbes can control the actions of their masters animals by manipulating the molecular mechanism of cells. An experiment conducted with mice and fish, may be useful in the treatment of human inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis .

In recent years, scientists have identified numerous connections between the trillions of resident bacteria, viruses and fungi that form the microbiome and various diseases from anorexia to diabetes.

In this study, researchers studied the effect of microbiomes on the genome of the animal, paying attention to certain areas of the genome that regulate the switching on and off different genes.

PhD student James M. Davison compared the genetic regions in two groups of mice: the first one without germs and the germs. He found that the enhancers are small stretches of DNA that behave differently in the presence of microbes. Some enhancers bound protein called Hnf4a, which was previously involved in a number of human diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, obesity and diabetes.

Comparing the sequence of genes in different animal species, including humans, mice and fish, Davison was able to show that microbes can partially disable Hnf4a in mice and fish and may prevent its protective role. When Hnf4a is completely disabled, the microbes stimulate patterns of gene expression in animals that are associated with inflammatory bowel disease.

We found that microbes are involved in human diseases. The fact that we observed similar effects in fish and mice, suggests that the General scheme of interaction “host-microbe” that could exist and our common vertebrate ancestors.

Researchers still have not determined how the microbes destroy Hnf4a, but they have several hypotheses. For example, the microbes can somehow block the place the protein in the DNA or to modify the protein. It is also unknown whether certain subsets of microbes more manageable than others. Understanding these processes will help to create new pharmaceutical recovery strategy protective forces to strengthen human health.

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