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Dichotomous metabolism of Enterococcus faecalis induced by haematin starvation modulates colonic gene expression.

Enterococcus faecalis is an intestinal commensal, which, in the absence of haematin, reverts to fermentative metabolism and produces extracellular superoxide that can damage epithelial-cell DNA. This study demonstrates that the uniquely dichotomous metabolism of E. faecalis can significantly modulate gene expression in the colonic mucosa for pathways associated with inflammation, apoptosis and cell-cycle regulation. It was found that superoxide led to strong signalling in immune cells called macrophages - it also altered the way some cells in the gut grew and divided and increased the productivity of genes which are associated with cancer. In total, expression of 42 genes linked to vital processes in human cells was altered by the presence of E. faecalis in this state. J Med Microbiol. 2008;57(10):1193-204.

Author: Allen TD, Moore DR, Wang X, et al

Published: 01/01/2008

Publication Type: Journal article

Publisher: Journal of Medical Microbiology