Microbiota from the distal guts of lean and obese adolescents exhibit partial functional redundancy besides clear differences in community structure

Authors

  • Manuel Ferrer,

    Corresponding author
    1. CSIC, Institute of Catalysis, 28049 Madrid, Spain
    Search for more papers by this author
    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Alicia Ruiz,

    1. Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Centro de Investigación Biomédica, University of Granada, Granada, Spain
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Francesca Lanza,

    1. Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Centro de Investigación Biomédica, University of Granada, Granada, Spain
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Sven-Bastiaan Haange,

    1. Department of Pediatric Surgery, University Hospital of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
    2. Integrated Research and Treatment Center (IFB) Adiposity Diseases, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
    3. Department of Proteomics, UFZ – Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig, Germany
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Andreas Oberbach,

    1. Department of Pediatric Surgery, University Hospital of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
    2. Integrated Research and Treatment Center (IFB) Adiposity Diseases, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Holger Till,

    1. Department of Pediatric Surgery, University Hospital of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
    2. Integrated Research and Treatment Center (IFB) Adiposity Diseases, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Rafael Bargiela,

    1. CSIC, Institute of Catalysis, 28049 Madrid, Spain
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Cristina Campoy,

    1. Department of Pediatrics, Centro de Investigación Biomédica, University of Granada, Granada, Spain
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Maria Teresa Segura,

    1. Division of Metabolic and Nutritional Medicine, Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich Medical Centre, Munich, Germany
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Michael Richter,

    1. Ribocon GmbH, Bremen, Germany
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Martin von Bergen,

    1. Department of Proteomics, UFZ – Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig, Germany
    2. Department of Metabolomics, UFZ – Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig, Germany
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Jana Seifert,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Proteomics, UFZ – Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig, Germany
    Search for more papers by this author
    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Antonio Suarez

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Centro de Investigación Biomédica, University of Granada, Granada, Spain
    Search for more papers by this author
    • These authors contributed equally to this work.


E-mail asuarez@ugr.es; Tel. (+34) 958 241000-20318; Fax (+34) 958 819132;

E-mail mferrer@icp.csic.es; Tel. (+34) 915 854872; Fax (+34) 915 854760;

E-mail jana.seifert@ufz.de; Tel. (+49) 341 2351352; Fax (+49) 341 2351787.

Summary

Recent research has disclosed a tight connection between obesity, metabolic gut microbial activities and host health. Obtaining a complete understanding of this relationship remains a major goal. Here, we conducted a comparative metagenomic and metaproteomic investigation of gut microbial communities in faecal samples taken from an obese and a lean adolescent. By analysing the diversity of 16S rDNA amplicons (10% operational phylogenetic units being common), 22 Mbp of consensus metagenome sequences (∼ 70% common) and the expression profiles of 613 distinct proteins (82% common), we found that in the obese gut, the total microbiota was more abundant on the phylum Firmicutes (94.6%) as compared with Bacteroidetes (3.2%), although the metabolically active microbiota clearly behaves in a more homogeneous manner with both contributing equally. The lean gut showed a remarkable shift towards Bacteroidetes (18.9% total 16S rDNA), which become the most active fraction (81% proteins). Although the two gut communities maintained largely similar gene repertoires and functional profiles, improved pili- and flagella-mediated host colonization and improved capacity for both complementary aerobic and anaerobic de novo B12 synthesis, 1,2-propanediol catabolism (most likely participating in de novo B12 synthesis) and butyrate production were observed in the obese gut, whereas bacteria from lean gut seem to be more engaged in vitamin B6 synthesis. Furthermore, this study provides functional evidence that variable combinations of species from different phyla could ‘presumptively’ fulfil overlapping and/or complementary functional roles required by the host, a scenario where minor bacterial taxa seem to be significant active contributors.

Ancillary