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Food Microbiol. 2013 Oct;36(1):7-13. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2013 Mar 28.

Synbiotic impact of tagatose on viability of Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain GG mediated by the phosphotransferase system (PTS).

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Division of Food Bioscience and Technology, Korea University, Seoul 136-713, South Korea.


Synbiotics, the combination of prebiotics and probiotics, has been shown to produce synergistic effects that promote gastrointestinal well-being of host. Tagatose is a low calorie food ingredient with putative health-promoting benefits. Herein, we investigated its synbiotic impact on the viability of Lactobacillus casei 01 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus strain GG and the potential mechanism involved. Tagatose, as a synbiotic substrate, enhanced the growth of L. casei 01 and L. rhamnosus strain GG compared to other prebiotics. Other gut-indigenous such as Clostridium spp. readily utilized fructooligosaccharide (FOS), the most widely used functional prebiotics, but not tagatose. Additionally, tagatose enhanced probiotic functions of L. casei 01 and L. rhamnosus strain GG by reinforcing their attachment on HT-29 intestine epithelial cells and enhancing their cholesterol-lowering activities. Whole transcriptome study and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) test showed that the presence of tagatose in L. rhamnosus strain GG caused induction of a large number of genes associated with carbohydrate metabolism including the phosphotransferase system (PTS). Collectively, these results indicate the tagatose enhanced the growth of L. casei 01 and L. rhamnosus strain GG and their probiotic activities by activating tagatose-associated PTS networks. Importantly, this study highlights the potential application of tagatose and L. casei 01 and/or L. rhamnosus strain GG as a synbiotic partner in functional dairy foods (i.e. yogurt and cheese) and therapeutic dietary supplements.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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