Crosstalk between the microbiome and epigenome: messages from bugs.

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PubMed ID: 29161429

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Qin Y, Wade PA

J Biochem. Feb 2018. doi: 10.1093/jb/mvx080

COMMENT:  The gut microbiome, which provides environmental cues, can modify host cell responses to stimuli through alterations in the host epigenome and, ultimately, gene expression.

Increasing evidence highlights microbial generation of bioactive compounds that impact the transcriptional machinery in host cells. In this review the authors disclose current understanding of the crosstalk between gut microbiota and the host epigenome, including DNA methylation, histone modification and non-coding RNAs. Current studies are providing insights into how the host responds to microbial signalling and are predicted to provide information for the application of precision medicine.

The review highlights the roles of various microbiota-derived metabolites like folate and short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs)  in DNA methylation, histone modification and non-coding RNAs. Although SCFAs seem to be crucial in modulating the host epigenome through DNA methylation and histone modifications, many of the details of the mechanism remain unclear.


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Javier Velasco