About this Research Topic
The human intestine is colonized by a complex, diverse and dynamic community of microorganisms, the so-called microbiota, which is in permanent interaction with the host. It is now well established that the gut microbiome is of considerable importance for health and well-being. It is indeed involved in food degradation and assimilation, formation of bile salts, protection against pathogens, integrity of epithelial layer, immunity, etc., while a gut microbiota imbalance (i.e. dysbiosis) has been associated with several metabolic diseases.
One of the main functions of the gut microbiota is its contribution to the digestion of complex dietary fibres, such as plant cell walls and resistant starch. The predominant gut bacterial species possess an enzymatic arsenal in the form of carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes) used to depolymerize these non-digestible carbohydrates. The metabolization of non-digestible carbohydrates (NDC) by bacteria residing in the intestinal tract is of a major importance, their fermentation leading mainly to biosynthesis of short chain fatty acids (SCFAs). SCFA are recognized as beneficial to the host (decrease of inflammation, antitumor effect…) by playing a regulatory role in local, intermediary, and peripheral metabolism. In another hand, the energy produced during NDC fermentation could negatively impact the host physiology and could be involved in metabolic diseases such as obesity.
In addition to dietary fibres, intestinal microorganisms contribute to recycling glycans from diverse origin such as those of the lipopolysaccharides and peptidoglycans of intestinal micro-organisms cell wall and glycoprotein of the mucus secreted by the intestinal epithelium It is known that mucus feeds resident bacteria and a defect in the mucus barrier is associated with different pathology such as inflammatory bowel disease.
In this Research Topic, we invite eminent submissions exploring cutting-edge research and recent advances in the fields of polysaccharides degradation and fermentation by human gut microbiota.
This broad scope includes studies on i) microbial impact on immunologic development, ii) microbial biochemistry, cellular biology, metabolism, function and genetic of gut bacteria iii) industrial application, iv) human pathology due to dysbiosis.
This Research Topic focuses on studies including, e.g., Original Research, comprehensive Reviews, short Communications and Opinion papers that investigate and discuss:
- Involvement of carbohydrates in cross talk between bacteria and intestinal cells and modulation of host immune system.
- Causal links between composition / function of intestinal microbiota in disease.
- Relationships between taxonomic composition of microbiota and functional profiles linked with carbohydrate degradation.
- Influence of dietary carbohydrate types on functional diversity of the microbiota.
- Role of carbohydrates in establishment of gut microbiota.
- Carbohydrate transport and adhesion in commensals and pathogens.
- New methods and approach to investigate functions of the microbiota.
Keywords: polysaccharides, glycans, carbohydrates, gut microbiota, metabolism, physiology
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.