Proteome changes in the intestinal mucosa of broiler (Gallus gallus) activated by probiotic Enterococcus faecium

J Proteomics. 2013 Oct 8;91:226-41. doi: 10.1016/j.jprot.2013.07.017. Epub 2013 Jul 27.


Probiotics are supplemented to animal diet to support a well-balanced gut microbiota, finally contributing to improved health. The molecular mechanism of probiotics in animal intestine improvement is yet unclear. We investigated the production parameters, gut morphology and microbiota, and mucosal proteome of Arbor Acres broilers (Gallus gallus) supplemented with Enterococcus faecium by performing denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, quantitative real-time PCR, two-dimensional fluorescence difference gel electrophoresis, and mass spectrometry. E. faecium supplementation promoted the development of immune organs and gut microvilli and enlarged the gut microbial diversity and population. However, it had no effects on daily weight gain and feed intake, and slightly enhanced feed conversion ratio. A total of 42 intestinal mucosal proteins were found to be differentially abundant. Four of them are related to intestinal structure and may extend the absorptive surface area. Of 17 differential proteins related to immune and antioxidant systems, only six are abundant in the broilers fed E. faecium, indicating that these chickens employ less nutrients and energy to deal with immune and antioxidant stresses. These findings have important implications for understanding the probiotic mechanisms of E. faecium on broiler intestine.

Biological significance: Probiotic supplementation to animal diet is closely related with improved health. The objective of this study is to determine the molecular mechanisms of probiotic E. faecium achieving its biological mission in the gut of Arbor Acres broilers (G. gallus). E. faecium supplementation did not improve daily weight gain and feed intake; however, it had effects on immune organ and gut microvillus development, and gut microbial diversity and population. Quantitative proteomic analysis of the intestinal mucosa of broilers treated with E. faecium identified 42 intestinal mucosal proteins related to substance metabolism, immune and antioxidant systems, and cell structure. This study identified the E. faecium derived probiotic mechanism on the proteome level.

Keywords: Arbor Acres broiler (Gallus gallus); Enterococcus faecium; Gut microbiota; Intestinal mucosal protein profile.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Chickens
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Enterococcus faecium / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / microbiology*
  • Probiotics / metabolism*
  • Protein Interaction Mapping
  • Proteome
  • Proteomics
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Proteome
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S