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B6db references: 25263219

type Journal Article
authors Williams BB, Van Benschoten AH, Cimermancic P, Donia MS, Zimmermann M, Taketani M, Ishihara A, Kashyap PC, Fraser JS, Fischbach MA
title Discovery and characterization of gut microbiota decarboxylases that can produce the neurotransmitter tryptamine
journal Cell Host Microbe
sel selected
ui 25263219
year (2014)
volume 16
number 4
pages 495-503
keywords doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2014.09.001
abstract Several recent studies describe the influence of the gut microbiota on host brain and behavior. However, the mechanisms responsible for microbiota-nervous system interactions are largely unknown. Using a combination of genetics, biochemistry, and crystallography, we identify and characterize two phylogenetically distinct enzymes found in the human microbiome that decarboxylate tryptophan to form the β-arylamine neurotransmitter tryptamine. Although this enzymatic activity is exceedingly rare among bacteria more broadly, analysis of the Human Microbiome Project data demonstrate that at least 10% of the human population harbors at least one bacterium encoding a tryptophan decarboxylase in their gut community. Our results uncover a previously unrecognized enzymatic activity that can give rise to host-modulatory compounds and suggests a potential direct mechanism by which gut microbiota can influence host physiology, including behavior.
last changed 2018/05/17 11:16

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