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Article

Flavonoid-Modifying Capabilities of the Human Gut Microbiome—An In Silico Study

1
Research Group Intestinal Microbiology, Department of Molecular Toxicology, German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke, Arthur-Scheunert-Allee 114-116, 14558 Nuthetal, Germany
2
Department of Molecular Epidemiology, German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke, Arthur-Scheunert-Allee 114-116, 14558 Nuthetal, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Elad Tako
Nutrients 2021, 13(8), 2688; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13082688
Received: 22 June 2021 / Revised: 26 July 2021 / Accepted: 26 July 2021 / Published: 3 August 2021
Flavonoids are a major group of dietary plant polyphenols and have a positive health impact, but their modification and degradation in the human gut is still widely unknown. Due to the rise of metagenome data of the human gut microbiome and the assembly of hundreds of thousands of bacterial metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs), large-scale screening for potential flavonoid-modifying enzymes of human gut bacteria is now feasible. With sequences of characterized flavonoid-transforming enzymes as queries, the Unified Human Gastrointestinal Protein catalog was analyzed and genes encoding putative flavonoid-modifying enzymes were quantified. The results revealed that flavonoid-modifying enzymes are often encoded in gut bacteria hitherto not considered to modify flavonoids. The enzymes for the physiologically important daidzein-to-equol conversion, well studied in Slackiaisoflavoniconvertens, were encoded only to a minor extent in Slackia MAGs, but were more abundant in Adlercreutzia equolifaciens and an uncharacterized Eggerthellaceae species. In addition, enzymes with a sequence identity of about 35% were encoded in highly abundant MAGs of uncultivated Collinsella species, which suggests a hitherto uncharacterized daidzein-to-equol potential in these bacteria. Of all potential flavonoid modification steps, O-deglycosylation (including derhamnosylation) was by far the most abundant in this analysis. In contrast, enzymes putatively involved in C-deglycosylation were detected less often in human gut bacteria and mainly found in Agathobacter faecis (formerly Roseburia faecis). Homologs to phloretin hydrolase, flavanonol/flavanone-cleaving reductase and flavone reductase were of intermediate abundance (several hundred MAGs) and mainly prevalent in Flavonifractor plautii. This first comprehensive insight into the black box of flavonoid modification in the human gut highlights many hitherto overlooked and uncultured bacterial genera and species as potential key organisms in flavonoid modification. This could lead to a significant contribution to future biochemical-microbiological investigations on gut bacterial flavonoid transformation. In addition, our results are important for individual nutritional recommendations and for biotechnological applications that rely on novel enzymes catalyzing potentially useful flavonoid modification reactions. View Full-Text
Keywords: polyphenols; plant metabolites; phytohormones; isoflavones; personalized nutrition; metagenomes; human gut microbiome polyphenols; plant metabolites; phytohormones; isoflavones; personalized nutrition; metagenomes; human gut microbiome
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MDPI and ACS Style

Goris, T.; Cuadrat, R.R.C.; Braune, A. Flavonoid-Modifying Capabilities of the Human Gut Microbiome—An In Silico Study. Nutrients 2021, 13, 2688. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13082688

AMA Style

Goris T, Cuadrat RRC, Braune A. Flavonoid-Modifying Capabilities of the Human Gut Microbiome—An In Silico Study. Nutrients. 2021; 13(8):2688. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13082688

Chicago/Turabian Style

Goris, Tobias, Rafael R. C. Cuadrat, and Annett Braune. 2021. "Flavonoid-Modifying Capabilities of the Human Gut Microbiome—An In Silico Study" Nutrients 13, no. 8: 2688. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13082688

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