Prof. Nathalie Juge

Deputy Chief Scientific Officer and Group Leader

Contact via email

Glycobiology of host-microbe interactions in the gut

I am a Group Leader at the Quadram Institute and Honorary Professor at the University of East Anglia on the Norwich Research Park. I have over 25 year expertise in the molecular studies of carbohydrate-protein recognition in relation to gut biology, microbiology and food biotechnology.

My previous research focused on the structure-function relationships of plant and microbial glycoenzymes and their potential biotechnological application stemming from my PhD project at Marseille University and postdoctoral position at the Carlsberg Research Institute in Copenhagen and as a Marie-Curie Research Fellow at the Institute of Food Research in Norwich.

After obtaining a lectureship position in Marseille University in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, I led a research Group on Glycosidases in Marseille and in Norwich working on plant-cell wall degrading enzymes while on secondment at the Institute of Food Research. I put together and coordinated a large multicentre EU project on glycosidases and glycosidase inhibitors in food processing. Another strand of my research during this period was on the characterisation of intestinal glycosidases involved in dietary flavonoid metabolism in humans.

Since joining the Quadram Institute in 2007, I lead a Research Group focusing on the glycobiology of host-microbe interactions in health and diseases. I have been deputy leader of two Institute Strategic Programmes and am currently the Institute Deputy Chief Scientific Officer. My research spans plant carbohydrate biochemistry, gut microbiome and human health. I am an elected Fellow of Royal Society of Biology since 2020.

Today my team studies the role of glycans (microbial cell-surface polysaccharides, dietary fibres and prebiotics, and host mucin glycans) in the interaction between the gut microbiota and the host. I am also actively engaged in training of next generation glycoscientists at the European level through networking initiatives and Innovative Training Programmes.

Key Publications

Bell A, Brunt J, Crost E, Vaux L, Nepravishta R, Owen CD, Latousakis D, Xiao A, Li W, Chen X, Walsh MA, Claesen J, Angulo J, Thomas GH, Juge N. Elucidation of a sialic acid metabolism pathway in mucus-foraging Ruminococcus gnavus unravels mechanisms of bacterial adaptation to the gut. Nat Microbiol. 2019 Dec;4(12):2393-2404. doi: 10.1038/s41564-019-0590-7.

Lamprinaki D, Garcia-Vello P, Marchetti R, Hellmich C, McCord KA, Bowles KM, Macauley MS, Silipo A, De Castro C, Crocker PR, Juge N. Siglec-7 Mediates Immunomodulation by Colorectal Cancer-Associated Fusobacterium nucleatum ssp. animalis. Front Immunol. 2021 12:744184. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.744184

Šuligoj T, Vigsnæs LK, Abbeele PVD, Apostolou A, Karalis K, Savva GM, McConnell B, Juge N. Effects of Human Milk Oligosaccharides on the Adult Gut Microbiota and Barrier Function. Nutrients. 2020 Sep 13;12(9):2808. doi: 10.3390/nu12092808.

Sequeira S, Kavanaugh D, MacKenzie DA, Šuligoj T, Walpole S, Leclaire C, Gunning AP, Latousakis D, Willats WGT, Angulo J, Dong C, Juge N. Structural basis for the role of serine-rich repeat proteins from Lactobacillus reuteri in gut microbe-host interactions Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 115(12):E2706-E2715. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1715016115.

Owen CD, Tailford LE,Monaco S, Šuligoj T, Vaux L, Lallement R, Khedri Z, Yu H, Lecointe K, Walshaw J, Tribolo S, Horrex M, Bell A, Chen X, Taylor GL, Varki A, Angulo J, Juge N. Unravelling the specificity and mechanism of sialic acid recognition by the gut symbiont Ruminococcus gnavus. Nat Commun. 2017 Dec 19;8(1):2196. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-02109-8.

Tailford L. E., Owen C. D., Walshaw J., Crost E. H., Hardy-Goddard J., Le Gall G., de Vos W. M., Taylor G. L. and Juge N. Discovery of intramolecular trans-sialidases in human gut microbiota suggests novel mechanisms of mucosal adaptation. Nat. Commun. 2017 8(1):2196. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-02109-8.

Etzold, S., Kober, O.I, Mackenzie, D.A., Tailford, L.E., Gunning, A.P., Walshaw, J., Hemmings, A.M. and Juge, N. Structural basis for adaptation of lactobacilli to gastrointestinal mucus. Environ. Microbiol. 16 (2014) 16(3):888-903. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.12377

Frese SA, Mackenzie DA, Peterson DA, Schmaltz R, Fangman T, Zhou Y, Zhang C, Benson AK, Cody LA, Mulholland F, Juge N, Walter J. Molecular characterization of host-specific biofilm formation in a vertebrate gut symbiont. PLoS Genet. 2013;9(12):e1004057. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1004057. Epub 2013 Dec 26.PMID: 24385934

Wu Y, Bell A, Thomas GH, Bolam DN, Sargent F, Juge N, Palmer T, Severi . (2024)

Characterisation of anhydro-sialic acid transporters from mucosa-associated bacteria.

Microbiology (Reading, England)


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Coletto E, Savva GM, Latousakis D, Pontifex M, Crost EH, Vaux L, Telatin A, Bergstrom K, Vauzour D, Juge . (2023)

Role of mucin glycosylation in the gut microbiota-brain axis of core 3 O-glycan deficient mice.

Scientific reports


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Crost EH, Coletto E, Bell A, Juge . (2023)

Ruminococcus gnavus: friend or foe for human health.

FEMS microbiology reviews


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Shuoker B, Pichler MJ, Jin C, Sakanaka H, Wu H, Gascueña AM, Liu J, Nielsen TS, Holgersson J, Nordberg Karlsson, Juge N, Meier S, Morth JP, Karlsson NG, Abou Hache. (2023)

Sialidases and fucosidases of Akkermansia muciniphila are crucial for growth on mucin and nutrient sharing with mucus-associated gut bacteria.

Nature communications


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Bell A, Severi E, Owen CD, Latousakis D, Juge . (2023)

Biochemical and structural basis of sialic acid utilization by gut microbes.

The Journal of biological chemistry


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