Metatranscriptome profiling of the dynamic transcription of mRNA and sRNA of a probiotic Lactobacillus strain in human gut
Metatranscriptomic sequencing has recently been applied to study how pathogens and probiotics affect human gastrointestinal (GI) tract microbiota, which provides new insights into their mechanisms of action. In this study, metatranscriptomic sequencing was applied to deduce the in vivo expression patterns of an ingested Lactobacillus casei strain, which was compared with its in vitro growth transcriptomes. Extraction of the strain-specific reads revealed that transcripts from the ingested L. casei were increased, while those from the resident L. paracasei strains remained unchanged. Mapping of all metatranscriptomic reads and transcriptomic reads to L. casei genome showed that gene expression in vitro and in vivo differed dramatically. About 39% (1163) mRNAs and 45% (93) sRNAs of L. casei well-expressed were repressed after ingested into human gut. Expression of ABC transporter genes and amino acid metabolism genes was induced at day-14 of ingestion; and genes for sugar and SCFA metabolisms were activated at day-28 of ingestion. Moreover, expression of sRNAs specific to the in vitro log phase was more likely to be activated in human gut. Expression of rli28c sRNA with peaked expression during the in vitro stationary phase was also activated in human gut; this sRNA repressed L. casei growth and lactic acid production in vitro. These findings implicate that the ingested L. casei might have to successfully change its transcription patterns to survive in human gut, and the time-dependent activation patterns indicate a highly dynamic cross-talk between the probiotic and human gut including its microbe community.
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