Glycobiology of host-microbe interactions in the gut

Nathalie Juge

Prof. Nathalie Juge

Research Leader

Glycobiology of host-microbe interactions in the gut

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Research in our Group is focused on the role of glycans in the interaction between our gut microbiota and the host.

Glycans are everywhere you look in the gut, they can come from the diet with such as plant cell polysaccharides or resistant starch reaching the large intestine undigested or from the host itself. Mucin glycans represent 80% of the mucus layer covering the gastrointestinal tract. These glycans shape the structure and function of the gut microbiota by providing binding sites and nutrients to luminal or mucosa-associated microbial communities and impact host health through their interaction with host receptors or the production of microbial metabolites with local or systemic effects on the body. Glycans also decorate the cell surface of all microbes constituting the gut microbiota, where they play a key role in modulating host immune responses.

We are using multidisciplinary approaches integrating biochemistry, microbiology, cell biology, glycan analysis with advanced physiological models of the human gut including fermentation simulators and gut-on-chips or mouse models to decipher the molecular mechanisms underpinning the interaction between glycans, gut microbes and the host at the intestinal mucosal interface.

Our work led to novel mechanistic insights into the gut adaptation strategies of human gut symbionts such as Ruminococcus gnavus. Importantly, several conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease or colon cancer are associated with alterations in mucosa-associated bacteria, mucin glycosylation, and immune response so the mechanistic knowledge we are gaining from our research informs the design of new biomarkers of disease and microbial as well as nutritional or prebiotic strategies to promote human health.

Juge group

Our Targets

Targeting antimicrobial resistance

Antimicrobial Resistance

Targeting IBD

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Targeting the understanding of the microbiome

Understanding the Microbiome

Targeting personalised nutrition

Personalised Nutrition

Biofilms

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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