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Gaining Insight into Microbial Physiology in the Large Intestine: A Special Role for Stable Isotopes

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Author: Graaf, A.A. de · Venema, K.
Institution: TNO Kwaliteit van Leven
Source:Poole, R.K., Advances in Microbial Physiology, 53
Identifier: 240139
doi: doi:10.1016/S0065-2911(07)53002-X
Keywords: Biology · Biomedical Research · Butyric acid · Prebiotic agent · Stable isotope · Bacterial phenomena and functions · Biomedicine · Ecosystem · Energy balance · Genome · Genomics · Immune system · Innate immunity · Intestine flora · Large intestine · Metabolic stress · Metabolomics · Microbial metabolism · Microorganism · Nonhuman · Obesity · PH · Proteomics · Review · Bacterial Physiology · Fatty Acids, Volatile · Genomics · Humans · Intestine, Large · Isotope Labeling · Proteomics · Radioisotopes · Radiopharmaceuticals


The importance of the human large intestine for nutrition, health, and disease, is becoming increasingly realized. There are numerous indications of a distinct role for the gut in such important issues as immune disorders and obesity-linked diseases. Research on this long-neglected organ, which is colonized by a myriad of bacteria, is a rapidly growing field that is currently providing fascinating new insights into the processes going on in the colon, and their relevance for the human host. This review aims to give an overview of studies dealing with the physiology of the intestinal microbiota as it functions within and in interaction with the host, with a special focus on approaches involving stable isotopes. We have included general aspects of gut microbial life as well as aspects specifically relating to genomic, proteomic, and metabolomic studies. A special emphasis is further laid on reviewing relevant methods and applications of stable isotope-aided metabolic flux analysis (MFA). We argue that linking MFA with the '-omics' technologies using innovative modeling approaches is the way to go to establish a truly integrative and interdisciplinary approach. Systems biology thus actualized will provide key insights into the metabolic regulations involved in microbe-host mutualism and their relevance for health and disease. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Chemicals / CAS: butyric acid, 107-92-6, 156-54-7, 461-55-2; Fatty Acids, Volatile; Radioisotopes; Radiopharmaceuticals