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Title: Genome-resolved metaproteomic characterization of preterm infant gut microbiota development reveals species-specific metabolic shifts and variabilities during early life

Abstract

Establishment of the human gut microbiota begins at birth. This early-life microbiota development can impact host physiology during infancy and even across an entire life span. But, the functional stability and population structure of the gut microbiota during initial colonization remain poorly understood. Metaproteomics is an emerging technology for the large-scale characterization of metabolic functions in complex microbial communities (gut microbiota). We applied a metagenome-informed metaproteomic approach to study the temporal and inter-individual differences of metabolic functions during microbial colonization of preterm human infants’ gut. By analyzing 30 individual fecal samples, we identified up to 12,568 protein groups for each of four infants, including both human and microbial proteins. With genome-resolved matched metagenomics, proteins were confidently identified at the species/strain level. The maximum percentage of the proteome detected for the abundant organisms was ~45%. A time-dependent increase in the relative abundance of microbial versus human proteins suggested increasing microbial colonization during the first few weeks of early life. We observed remarkable variations and temporal shifts in the relative protein abundances of each organism in these preterm gut communities. Given the dissimilarity of the communities, only 81 microbial EggNOG orthologous groups and 57 human proteins were observed across all samples. Thesemore » conserved microbial proteins were involved in carbohydrate, energy, amino acid and nucleotide metabolism while conserved human proteins were related to immune response and mucosal maturation. We also identified seven proteome clusters for the communities and showed infant gut proteome profiles were unstable across time and not individual-specific. By applying a gut-specific metabolic module (GMM) analysis, we found that gut communities varied primarily in the contribution of nutrient (carbohydrates, lipids, and amino acids) utilization and short-chain fatty acid production. Overall, this study reports species-specific proteome profiles and metabolic functions of human gut microbiota during early colonization. In particular, our work contributes to reveal microbiota-associated shifts and variations in the metabolism of three major nutrient sources and short-chain fatty acid during colonization of preterm infant gut.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [3];  [2]; ORCiD logo [4]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Biosciences Division
  2. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States). Dept. of Earth and Planetary Science
  3. Univ. of Pittsburgh, PA (United States). School of Medicine
  4. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Chemical Sciences Division
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE; National Institutes of Health (NIH)
OSTI Identifier:
1407990
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725; 1R01-GM-103600
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Microbiome
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 5; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2049-2618
Publisher:
BioMed Central
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; 60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; metaproteomics; human infant gut; shotgun proeomics; genome resolved; microbial metabolic functions

Citation Formats

Xiong, Weili, Brown, Christopher T., Morowitz, Michael J., Banfield, Jillian F., and Hettich, Robert L. Genome-resolved metaproteomic characterization of preterm infant gut microbiota development reveals species-specific metabolic shifts and variabilities during early life. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1186/s40168-017-0290-6.
Xiong, Weili, Brown, Christopher T., Morowitz, Michael J., Banfield, Jillian F., & Hettich, Robert L. Genome-resolved metaproteomic characterization of preterm infant gut microbiota development reveals species-specific metabolic shifts and variabilities during early life. United States. doi:10.1186/s40168-017-0290-6.
Xiong, Weili, Brown, Christopher T., Morowitz, Michael J., Banfield, Jillian F., and Hettich, Robert L. Mon . "Genome-resolved metaproteomic characterization of preterm infant gut microbiota development reveals species-specific metabolic shifts and variabilities during early life". United States. doi:10.1186/s40168-017-0290-6. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1407990.
@article{osti_1407990,
title = {Genome-resolved metaproteomic characterization of preterm infant gut microbiota development reveals species-specific metabolic shifts and variabilities during early life},
author = {Xiong, Weili and Brown, Christopher T. and Morowitz, Michael J. and Banfield, Jillian F. and Hettich, Robert L.},
abstractNote = {Establishment of the human gut microbiota begins at birth. This early-life microbiota development can impact host physiology during infancy and even across an entire life span. But, the functional stability and population structure of the gut microbiota during initial colonization remain poorly understood. Metaproteomics is an emerging technology for the large-scale characterization of metabolic functions in complex microbial communities (gut microbiota). We applied a metagenome-informed metaproteomic approach to study the temporal and inter-individual differences of metabolic functions during microbial colonization of preterm human infants’ gut. By analyzing 30 individual fecal samples, we identified up to 12,568 protein groups for each of four infants, including both human and microbial proteins. With genome-resolved matched metagenomics, proteins were confidently identified at the species/strain level. The maximum percentage of the proteome detected for the abundant organisms was ~45%. A time-dependent increase in the relative abundance of microbial versus human proteins suggested increasing microbial colonization during the first few weeks of early life. We observed remarkable variations and temporal shifts in the relative protein abundances of each organism in these preterm gut communities. Given the dissimilarity of the communities, only 81 microbial EggNOG orthologous groups and 57 human proteins were observed across all samples. These conserved microbial proteins were involved in carbohydrate, energy, amino acid and nucleotide metabolism while conserved human proteins were related to immune response and mucosal maturation. We also identified seven proteome clusters for the communities and showed infant gut proteome profiles were unstable across time and not individual-specific. By applying a gut-specific metabolic module (GMM) analysis, we found that gut communities varied primarily in the contribution of nutrient (carbohydrates, lipids, and amino acids) utilization and short-chain fatty acid production. Overall, this study reports species-specific proteome profiles and metabolic functions of human gut microbiota during early colonization. In particular, our work contributes to reveal microbiota-associated shifts and variations in the metabolism of three major nutrient sources and short-chain fatty acid during colonization of preterm infant gut.},
doi = {10.1186/s40168-017-0290-6},
journal = {Microbiome},
number = 1,
volume = 5,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jul 10 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Mon Jul 10 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

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  • The early-life microbiota establishment in the human infant gut is highly variable and plays a crucial role in host nutrients and immunity maturation. While high-performance mass spectrometry (MS)-based metaproteomics is a powerful method for the functional characterization of complex microbial communities, the construction of comprehensive metaproteomic information in human fecal samples is inhibited by the presence of abundant human proteins. To alleviate this restriction, we have designed a novel metaproteomic strategy based on Double Filtering (DF) to enhance microbial protein characterization in complex fecal samples from healthy premature infants. We improved the overall depth of infant gut proteome measurement, withmore » an increase in the number of identified low abundance proteins, and observed greater than twofold improvement in metrics for microbial protein identifications and quantifications with a relatively high rank correlation to control. We further showed the substantial enhancement of this approach for extensively interpreting microbial functional categories between infants by affording more detailed and confident identified categories. This approach provided an avenue for in-depth measurement in the microbial component of infant fecal samples and thus comprehensive characterization of infant gut microbiome functionality.« less
  • While there has been growing interest in the gut microbiome in recent years, it remains unclear whether closely related species and strains have similar or distinct functional roles and if organisms capable of both aerobic and anaerobic growth do so simultaneously. To investigate these questions, we implemented a high-throughput mass spectrometry-based proteomics approach to identify proteins in fecal samples collected on days of life 13 21 from an infant born at 28 weeks gestation. No prior studies have coupled strain-resolved community metagenomics to proteomics for such a purpose. Sequences were manually curated to resolve the genomes of two strains ofmore » Citrobacter that were present during the later stage of colonization. Proteome extracts from fecal samples were processed via a nano-2D-LC-MS/MS and peptides were identified based on information predicted from the genome sequences for the dominant organisms, Serratia and the two Citrobacter strains. These organisms are facultative anaerobes, and proteomic information indicates the utilization of both aerobic and anaerobic metabolisms throughout the time series. This may indicate growth in distinct niches within the gastrointestinal tract. We uncovered differences in the physiology of coexisting Citrobacter strains, including differences in motility and chemotaxis functions. Additionally, for both Citrobacter strains we resolved a community-essential role in vitamin metabolism and a predominant role in propionate production. Finally, in this case study we detected differences between genome abundance and activity levels for the dominant populations. This underlines the value in layering proteomic information over genetic potential.« less
  • The microbial colonization of the human gastrointestinal tract plays an important role in establishing health and homeostasis. However, the time-dependent functional signatures of microbial and human proteins during early colonization of the gut have yet to be determined. Thus, we employed shotgun proteomics to simultaneously monitor microbial and human proteins in fecal samples from a preterm infant during the first month of life. Microbial community complexity and functions increased over time, with compositional changes that were consistent with previous metagenomic and rRNA gene data indicating three distinct colonization phases. Overall microbial community functions were established relatively early in development andmore » remained stable. Human proteins detected included those responsible for epithelial barrier function and antimicrobial activity. Some neutrophil-derived proteins increased in abundance early in the study period, suggesting activation of the innate immune system. Moreover, abundances of cytoskeletal and mucin proteins increased later in the time course, suggestive of subsequent adjustment to the increased microbial load. Our study provides the first snapshot of coordinated human and microbial protein expression in the infant gut during early development.« less
  • The very low birth weight (VLBW) infant is at great risk for marked dysbiosis of the gut microbiome due to multiple factors, including physiological immaturity and prenatal/postnatal influences that disrupt the development of a normal gut flora. However, little is known about the developmental succession of the microbiota in preterm infants as they grow and mature. This review provides a synthesis of our understanding of the normal development of the infant gut microbiome and contrasts this with dysbiotic development in the VLBW infant. The role of human milk in normal gut microbial development is emphasized, along with the role ofmore » the gut microbiome in immune development and gastroenteric health. Current research provides evidence that the gut microbiome interacts extensively with many physiological systems and metabolic processes in the developing infant. However, to the best of our knowledge, there are currently no studies prospectively mapping the gut microbiome of VLBW infants through early childhood. This knowledge gap must be filled to inform a healthcare system that can provide for the growth, health, and development of VLBW infants. In conclusion, the study speculates about how the VLBW infants’ gut microbiome might function through host-microbe interactions to contribute to the sequelae of preterm birth, including its influence on growth, development, and general health of the infant host.« less