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Trends Biochem Sci. 2014 Apr;39(4):156-8. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2014.02.005. Epub 2014 Mar 5.

How do gut microbes break down dietary fiber?

Author information

1
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CNRS UMR 7257, 13288 Marseille, France; Aix-Marseille Université, AFMB, 163 Avenue de Luminy, 13288 Marseille, France.
2
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CNRS UMR 7257, 13288 Marseille, France; Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Electronic address: bernard.henrissat@afmb.univ-mrs.fr.

Abstract

Trillions of commensal bacteria in our colon thrive on what we do not digest in our small intestine. Many have evolved multiple sophisticated machineries, termed polysaccharide utilization loci or PULs, for carbohydrate breakdown; each PUL may target a particular complex carbohydrate. Until now, studies have focused on the structural and functional characterization of individual PUL constituents. A recent work by Larsbrink et al. moves the scope from single-gene analysis to the entire PUL dissection.

PMID:
24613530
DOI:
10.1016/j.tibs.2014.02.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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