Glycan complexity dictates microbial resource allocation in the large intestine.
Rogowski, A., Briggs, J. A., Mortimer, J. C., Tryfona, T., Terrapon, N., Lowe, E. C., Baslé, A., Morland, C., Day, A. M., Zheng, H., Rogers, T. E., Thompson, P., Hawkins, A. R., Yadav, M. P., Henrissat, B., Martens, E. C., Dupree, P., Gilbert, H. J. & Bolam, D. N. (2015). Nature Communications, 6, 7481.
The structure of the human gut microbiota is controlled primarily through the degradation of complex dietary carbohydrates, but the extent to which carbohydrate breakdown products are shared between members of the microbiota is unclear. We show here, using xylan as a model, that sharing the breakdown products of complex carbohydrates by key members of the microbiota, such as Bacteroides ovatus, is dependent on the complexity of the target glycan. Characterization of the extensive xylan degrading apparatus expressed by B. ovatus reveals that the breakdown of the polysaccharide by the human gut microbiota is significantly more complex than previous models suggested, which were based on the deconstruction of xylans containing limited monosaccharide side chains. Our report presents a highly complex and dynamic xylan degrading apparatus that is fine-tuned to recognize the different forms of the polysaccharide presented to the human gut microbiota.
Hydrolysis of wheat flour arabinoxylan, acid-debranched wheat flour arabinoxylan and arabino-xylo-oligosaccharides by β-xylanase, α-L-arabinofuranosidase and β-xylosidase.
McCleary, B. V., McKie, V. A., Draga, A., Rooney, E., Mangan, D. & Larkin, J. (2015). Carbohydrate Research, 407, 79-96.
A range of α-L-arabinofuranosyl-(1-4)-β-D-xylo-oligosaccharides (AXOS) were produced by hydrolysis of wheat flour arabinoxylan (WAX) and acid debranched arabinoxylan (ADWAX), in the presence and absence of an AXH-d3 α-L-arabinofuranosidase, by several GH10 and GH11 β-xylanases. The structures of the oligosaccharides were characterised by GC-MS and NMR and by hydrolysis by a range of α-L-arabinofuranosidases and β-xylosidase. The AXOS were purified and used to characterise the action patterns of the specific α-L-arabinofuranosidases. These enzymes, in combination with either Cellvibrio mixtus or Neocallimastix patriciarum β -xylanase, were used to produce elevated levels of specific AXOS on hydrolysis of WAX, such as 32-α-L-Araf-(1-4)-β-D-xylobiose (A3X), 23-α-L-Araf-(1-4)-β-D-xylotriose (A2XX), 33-α-L-Araf-(1-4)-β-D-xylotriose (A3XX), 22-α-L-Araf-(1-4)-β-D-xylotriose (XA2X), 32-α-L-Araf (1-4)-β-D-xylotriose (XA3X), 23-α-L-Araf-(1-4)-β-D-xylotetraose (XA2XX), 33-α-L-Araf-(1-4)-β-D-xylotetraose (XA3XX), 23 ,33-di-α-L-Araf-(1-4)-β-D-xylotriose (A2+3XX), 23,33-di-α-L-Araf-(1-4)-β-D-xylotetraose (XA2+3XX), 24,34-di-α-L-Araf-(1-4)-β-D-xylopentaose (XA2+3XXX) and 33,34-di-α-L-Araf-(1-4)-β-D-xylopentaose (XA3A3XX), many of which have not previously been produced in sufficient quantities to allow their use as substrates in further enzymic studies. For A2,3XX, yields of approximately 16% of the starting material (wheat arabinoxylan) have been achieved. Mixtures of the α-L-arabinofuranosidases, with specific action on AXOS, have been combined with β-xylosidase and β-xylanase to obtain an optimal mixture for hydrolysis of arabinoxylan to L-arabinose and D-xylose.