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In vitro co-metabolism of epigallocatechin-3gallate (EGCG) by the mucin-degrading bacterium Akkermansia muciniphila

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posted on 2022-02-03, 22:55 authored by Y Xia, X Zhang, M Jiang, H Zhang, Y Wang, Y Zhang, Robert SeviourRobert Seviour, Y Kong
Akkermansia muciniphila is a Gram-negative bacterium that resides within the gut mucus layer, and plays an important role in promoting gut barrier integrity, modulating the immune response and inhibiting gut inflammation. Growth stimulation of A. muciniphila by polyphenols including epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) from difference sources is well-documented. However, no published in vitro culture data on utilization of polyphenols by A. muciniphila are available, and the mechanism of growth-stimulating prebiotic effect of polyphenols on it remains unclear. Here in vitro culture studies have been carried out on the metabolism of EGCG by A. muciniphila in the presence of either mucin or glucose. We found that A. muciniphila did not metabolize EGCG alone but could co-metabolize it together with both these substrates in the presence of mineral salts and amino acids for mucin and protein sources for glucose. Our metabolomic data show that A. muciniphila converts EGCG to gallic acid, epigallocatechin, and (-)-epicatechin through ester hydrolysis. The (-)-epicatechin formed is then further converted to hydroxyhydroquinone. Co-metabolism of A. muciniphila of EGCG together with either mucin or glucose promoted substantially its growth, which serves as a further demonstration of the growth-promoting effect of polyphenols on A. muciniphila and provides an important addition to the currently available proposed mechanisms of polyphenolic prebiotic effects on A. muciniphila.


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© 2021 Xia et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.