International internship investigates kefir

2nd August 2019

Mariano Malamud

Mariano Malamud, a researcher from the National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET) in Argentina, has recently started an internship in Professor Nathalie Juge’s group in the Quadram Institute.

Mariano works on Lactobacillus kefiri, one of the most abundant lactobacilli species isolated from kefir, a probiotic product made from fermented milk.

Mariano was granted a Wood-Whelan Research Fellowship from the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (IUBMB). These short-term fellowships are designed to help early career biochemists travel to other laboratories to undertake research that couldn’t be achieved in their own labs.

Mariano with the Juge Group

Mariano’s fellowship in the Juge Lab will allow him to study the impact of gut stress on the cell-surface protein glycosylation of L. kefiri strains to advance his research. Protein glycosylation in bacteria, so far mainly studied in pathogens, is being increasingly recognised as a main contributor to beneficial microbe-host interactions in the gut.  (Latousakis & Juge 2018; Latousakis et al., 2019).

The work has started in the Quadram Institute with the sequencing of L. kefiri genomes that will help to identify the glycosylation pathways of S-layer glycoproteins of L. kefiri strains. The next steps will be to determine the effect of gut stress on glycosylation by transcriptomics and validate the findings using MS-based glycomics.

Together, the outputs from this project will provide scientific-based evidence for the selection of L. kefiri strains adapted to conditions of the gastrointestinal tract.




– Cavallero JG, Malamud M, Casabuono AC, Serradell MA, Couto AS (2017). Glycoproteomic approach reveals that the S-layer glycoprotein of Lactobacillus kefiri CIDCA 83111 is O- and N-glycosylated. J Prot.162, 20-29

-Malamud, M., Carasi, P., Bronsoms, S., Trejo, S.A., and Serradell, M.L(2017). Lactobacillus kefiri shows inter-strain variations in the amino acid sequence of the S-layer proteins. Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek 110, 515–530. doi:10.1007/s10482-016-0820-4

-Malamud, M., Carasi, P., Freire, T., and Serradell, MA (2018). S-layer glycoprotein from Lactobacillus kefiri CIDCA 8348 enhances macrophages response to LPS in a Ca+2-dependent manner. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 495, 1227–1232

-Malamud, M., Carasi, P., Assandri MH., Lepenies B., and Serradell MA (2019). S-Layer Glycoprotein from Lactobacillus kefiri Exerts Its Immunostimulatory Activity Through Glycan Recognition by Mincle. Front. Immunol. 10:1422. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.01422

– Latousakis, D., & Juge, N. (2018). How Sweet Are Our Gut Beneficial Bacteria? A Focus on Protein Glycosylation in Lactobacillus. International journal of molecular sciences, 19(1), 136. doi:10.3390/ijms19010136

– Latousakis D, Nepravishta R, Rejzek M, Wegmann U, Le Gall G, Kavanaugh D, Colquhoun IJ, Frese S, MacKenzie DA, Walter J, Angulo J, Field RA, Juge N. Serine-rich repeat protein adhesins from Lactobacillus reuteri display strain specific glycosylation profiles. Glycobiology. 2019 Jan 1;29(1):45-58. doi: 10.1093/glycob/cwy100.

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