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Factors that modulate production of tryptophan by Gut Bacteria

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Microorganisms can produce metabolites in the gut including short chain fatty acids, vitamins, and amino acids. Certain metabolites produced in the gut can affect the brain through changes in

Microorganisms can produce metabolites in the gut including short chain fatty acids, vitamins, and amino acids. Certain metabolites produced in the gut can affect the brain through changes in neurotransmitter concentrations. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter, is associated with mood, appetite, and sleep. Up to 90% of serotonin synthesis is located in the gut, by human enterochromaffin cells. Bacteria known to biosynthesize tryptophan, precursor to serotonin, include Escherichia coli, Enterococcus and Streptococcus. Tryptophan is synthesized by bacteria with the enzyme tryptophan synthase and requires Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxal). We hypothesize that gut isolates from surgical weight loss patients can enhance tryptophan production, which relies on vitamin B6 availability. Our goal was to isolate bacteria in order to test for tryptophan production and to determine how Vitamin B6 concentrations could affect tryptophan production. We isolated gut bacteria was from successful surgical weight loss patient with selective pressures for Enterobacter isolates and Enterococcus isolates. We tested the isolates were tested to determine if they could biosynthesize tryptophan in-vitro. Bacterial cultures were enriched with yeast and enriched with serine and indole, substrates necessary for tryptophan biosynthesis. We analyzed the supernatant samples for tryptophan production using GC-FID. Bacterial isolates most closely related to E. coli and Klebsiella based on 16S rRNA gene sequences, produced tryptophan in vitro. While under serine & indole media conditions, R1, the isolate most similar to Klebsiella produced more tryptophan than R14, the isolate most similar to E. coli. We tested the R1 isolate with a gradient of vitamin B6 concentrations from 0.02 µg/mL to 0.2 µg/mL to determine its effect on tryptophan production. When less than 0.05 µg/mL of Vitamin B6 was added, tryptophan production at 6 hours was higher than tryptophan production with Vitamin B6 concentrations at 0.05 µg/mL and above. The production and consumption of tryptophan by Klebsiella under 0 µg/mL and 0.02 µg/mL concentrations of Vitamin B6 occurred at a faster rate when compared to concentrations 0.05 µg/mL or higher of Vitamin B6.

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  • 2016-05