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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012 Dec;78(24):8795-802. doi: 10.1128/AEM.02519-12. Epub 2012 Oct 12.

Identification and characterization of a bile salt hydrolase from Lactobacillus salivarius for development of novel alternatives to antibiotic growth promoters.

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Department of Animal Science, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA.


Antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) have been used as feed additives to improve average body weight gain and feed efficiency in food animals for more than 5 decades. However, there is a worldwide trend to limit AGP use to protect food safety and public health, which raises an urgent need to discover effective alternatives to AGPs. The growth-promoting effect of AGPs has been shown to be highly correlated with the decreased activity of intestinal bile salt hydrolase (BSH), an enzyme that is produced by various gut microflora and involved in host lipid metabolism. Thus, BSH inhibitors are likely promising feed additives to AGPs to improve animal growth performance. In this study, the genome of Lactobacillus salivarius NRRL B-30514, a BSH-producing strain isolated from chicken, was sequenced by a 454 GS FLX sequencer. A BSH gene identified by genome analysis was cloned and expressed in an Escherichia coli expression system for enzymatic analyses. The BSH displayed efficient hydrolysis activity for both glycoconjugated and tauroconjugated bile salts, with slightly higher catalytic efficiencies (k(cat)/K(m)) on glycoconjugated bile salts. The optimal pH and temperature for the BSH activity were 5.5 and 41°C, respectively. Examination of a panel of dietary compounds using the purified BSH identified some potent BSH inhibitors, in which copper and zinc have been recently demonstrated to promote feed digestion and body weight gain in different food animals. In sum, this study identified and characterized a BSH with broad substrate specificity from a chicken L. salivarius strain and established a solid platform for us to discover novel BSH inhibitors, the promising feed additives to replace AGPs for enhancing the productivity and sustainability of food animals.

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