Colon-specific delivery of a probiotic-derived soluble protein ameliorates intestinal inflammation in mice through an EGFR-dependent mechanism

J Clin Invest. 2011 Jun;121(6):2242-53. doi: 10.1172/JCI44031. Epub 2011 May 23.

Abstract

Probiotic bacteria can potentially have beneficial effects on the clinical course of several intestinal disorders, but our understanding of probiotic action is limited. We have identified a probiotic bacteria-derived soluble protein, p40, from Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG), which prevents cytokine-induced apoptosis in intestinal epithelial cells. In the current study, we analyzed the mechanisms by which p40 regulates cellular responses in intestinal epithelial cells and p40's effects on experimental colitis using mouse models. We show that the recombinant p40 protein activated EGFR, leading to Akt activation. Activation of EGFR by p40 was required for inhibition of cytokine-induced apoptosis in intestinal epithelial cells in vitro and ex vivo. Furthermore, we developed a pectin/zein hydrogel bead system to specifically deliver p40 to the mouse colon, which activated EGFR in colon epithelial cells. Administration of p40-containing beads reduced intestinal epithelial apoptosis and disruption of barrier function in the colon epithelium in an EGFR-dependent manner, thereby preventing and treating DSS-induced intestinal injury and acute colitis. Furthermore, p40 activation of EGFR was required for ameliorating colon epithelial cell apoptosis and chronic inflammation in oxazolone-induced colitis. These data define what we believe to be a previously unrecognized mechanism of probiotic-derived soluble proteins in protecting the intestine from injury and inflammation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Rectal
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Bacterial Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Bacterial Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Bacterial Proteins / pharmacology
  • Bacterial Proteins / therapeutic use*
  • Colitis / chemically induced
  • Colitis / drug therapy*
  • Colitis / enzymology
  • Colitis / prevention & control
  • Dextran Sulfate / toxicity
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Enzyme Activation / drug effects
  • Epithelial Cells / drug effects
  • Epithelial Cells / enzymology
  • Epithelial Cells / pathology
  • ErbB Receptors / antagonists & inhibitors
  • ErbB Receptors / drug effects*
  • ErbB Receptors / physiology
  • Hydrogels
  • Intestinal Mucosa / drug effects
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus / chemistry*
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus / physiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microspheres
  • Oxazolone / toxicity
  • Permeability / drug effects
  • Probiotics / chemistry*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / drug effects
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / metabolism
  • Quinazolines
  • Recombinant Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Recombinant Proteins / pharmacology
  • Recombinant Proteins / therapeutic use
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Tyrphostins / pharmacology

Substances

  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Hydrogels
  • Quinazolines
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Tyrphostins
  • p40 protein, Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  • Oxazolone
  • RTKI cpd
  • Dextran Sulfate
  • EGFR protein, mouse
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Akt1 protein, mouse
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt