Inorganic polyphosphate (polyP) was previously identified as a probiotic-derived substance that enhances intestinal barrier function. PolyP-accumulating bacteria are expected to have beneficial effects on the human gastrointestinal tract. In this study, we selected Lactobacillus paracasei JCM 1163 as a strain with the potential to accumulate polyP, because among the probiotic bacteria stored in our laboratory, it had the largest amount of polyP. The chain length of polyP accumulated in L. paracasei JCM 1163 was approximately 700 phosphate (Pi) residues. L. paracasei JCM 1163 accumulated polyP when Pi was added to Pi-starved cells. We further improved the ability of L. paracasei JCM 1163 to accumulate polyP by nitrosoguanidine mutagenesis. The mutant accumulated polyP at a level of 1500 nmol/mg protein-approximately 190 times that of the wild-type strain. PolyP extracted from the L. paracasei JCM 1163 significantly suppressed the oxidant-induced intestinal permeability in mouse small intestine. In conclusion, we have succeeded in breeding the polyP-accumulating Lactobacillus mutant that is expected to enhance intestinal barrier function.
Keywords: Pho regulon; intestinal barrier function; polyphosphate; probiotics.