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The Colorectal Cancer Gut Environment Regulates Activity of the Microbiome and Promotes the Multidrug Resistant Phenotype of ESKAPE and Other Pathogens.

Lamaudière, MTF, Arasaradnam, R, Weedall, GD and Morozov, IY (2023) The Colorectal Cancer Gut Environment Regulates Activity of the Microbiome and Promotes the Multidrug Resistant Phenotype of ESKAPE and Other Pathogens. mSphere. ISSN 2379-5042

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Open Access URL: https://doi.org/10.1128/msphere.00626-22 (Published version)


Taxonomic composition of the gut microbiota in colorectal cancer (CRC) patients is altered, a newly recognized driving force behind the disease, the activity of which has been overlooked. We conducted a pilot study on active microbial taxonomic composition in the CRC gut via metatranscriptome and 16S rRNA gene (rDNA) sequencing. We revealed sub-populations in CRC (n = 10) and control (n = 10) cohorts of over-active and dormant species, as changes in activity were often independent from abundance. Strikingly, the diseased gut significantly influenced transcription of butyrate producing bacteria, clinically relevant ESKAPE, oral, and Enterobacteriaceae pathogens. A focused analysis of antibiotic (AB) resistance genes showed that both CRC and control microbiota displayed a multidrug resistant phenotype, including ESKAPE species. However, a significant majority of AB resistance determinants of several AB families were upregulated in the CRC gut. We found that environmental gut factors regulated AB resistance gene expression in vitro of aerobic CRC microbiota, specifically acid, osmotic, and oxidative pressures in a predominantly health-dependent manner. This was consistent with metatranscriptome analysis of these cohorts, while osmotic and oxidative pressures induced differentially regulated responses. This work provides novel insights into the organization of active microbes in CRC, and reveals significant regulation of functionally related group activity, and unexpected microbiome-wide upregulation of AB resistance genes in response to environmental changes of the cancerous gut.
IMPORTANCE The human gut microbiota in colorectal cancer patients have a distinct population compared to heathy counterparts. However, the activity (gene expression) of this community has not been investigated. Following quantification of both expressed genes and gene abundance, we established that a sub-population of microbes lies dormant in the cancerous gut, while other groups, namely, clinically relevant oral and multi-drug resistant pathogens, significantly increased in activity. Targeted analysis of community-wide antibiotic resistance determinants found that their expression occurs independently of antibiotic treatment, regardless of host health. However, its expression in aerobes, in vitro, can be regulated by specific environmental stresses of the gut, including organic and inorganic acid pressure in a health-dependent manner. This work advances the field of microbiology in the context of disease, showing, for the first time, that colorectal cancer regulates activity of gut microorganisms and that specific gut environmental pressures can modulate their antibiotic resistance determinants expression.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: ESKAPE pathogens; antibiotic resistance; colorectal cancer; gut microbiota; metatranscriptome; multidrug resistance
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QR Microbiology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (from Sep 19)
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2023 12:04
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2023 12:15
DOI or ID number: 10.1128/msphere.00626-22
Editors: Young, Vincent B
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/19031
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