The fecal metabolome as a functional readout of the gut microbiome

Zierer, Jonas, Jackson, Matthew A., Kastenmüller, Gabi, Mangino, Massimo, Long, Tao, Telenti, Amalio, Mohney, Robert P., Small, Kerrin S., Bell, Jordana T., Steves, Claire J., Valdes, Ana M., Spector, Tim D. and Menni, Cristina (2018) The fecal metabolome as a functional readout of the gut microbiome. Nature Genetics, 50 (6). pp. 790-795. ISSN 1061-4036

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The human gut microbiome plays a key role in human health1, but 16S characterization lacks quantitative functional annotation2. The fecal metabolome provides a functional readout of microbial activity and can be used as an intermediate phenotype mediating host–microbiome interactions3. In this comprehensive description of the fecal metabolome, examining 1,116 metabolites from 786 individuals from a population-based twin study (TwinsUK), the fecal metabolome was found to be only modestly influenced by host genetics (heritability (H2) = 17.9%). One replicated locus at the NAT2 gene was associated with fecal metabolic traits. The fecal metabolome largely reflects gut microbial composition, explaining on average 67.7% (±18.8%) of its variance. It is strongly associated with visceral-fat mass, thereby illustrating potential mechanisms underlying the well-established microbial influence on abdominal obesity. Fecal metabolic profiling thus is a novel tool to explore links among microbiome composition, host phenotypes, and heritable complex traits.

Item Type: Article
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine > Division of Rheumatology, Orthopaedics and Dermatology
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Depositing User: Lashkova, Mrs Olga
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2018 13:46
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2018 04:30

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