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J Gen Microbiol. 1986 Jun;132(6):1647-56.

Protein degradation by human intestinal bacteria.

Abstract

Analysis of human gut contents showed that substantial quantities of soluble protein, ammonia and branched chain volatile fatty acids occurred throughout the large intestine [0.1-24.4 g (kg contents)-1, 7.7-66.0 mmol (kg contents)-1 and 1.5-11.1 mmol (kg contents)-1 respectively]. The presence of these metabolites suggested that substantial proteolysis was occurring. In vitro studies showed that casein and bovine serum albumin were partly degraded in slurries of human faeces over a 96 h incubation period, to produce TCA-soluble peptides, ammonia and volatile fatty acids. Proteolytic activity detected in the stools of five individuals ranged from 3.5 to 19.8 mg azocasein hydrolysed h-1 (g faecal material)-1. Washed cell and washed particulate faecal fractions accounted for 24-67% of total activity. The predominant proteolytic bacteria in the faecal samples examined were identified as Bacteroides spp. [1.0 X 10(11)-1.3 X 10(12) (g dry wt faeces)-1] and Propionibacterium spp. [1.2 X 10(8)-1.0 X 10(10) (g dry wt faeces)-1]. Other proteolytic bacteria which occurred in lesser numbers were identified as belonging to the genera Streptococcus, Clostridium, Bacillus and Staphylococcus. These results demonstrate that the gut microflora could potentially play a major role in proteolysis in the human colon.

PMID:
3543210
DOI:
10.1099/00221287-132-6-1647
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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