Metaproteomics of Colonic Microbiota Unveils Discrete Protein Functions among Colitic Mice and Control Groups

Proteomics. 2018 Feb;18(3-4):10.1002/pmic.201700391. doi: 10.1002/pmic.201700391. Epub 2018 Feb 2.


Metaproteomics can greatly assist established high-throughput sequencing methodologies to provide systems biological insights into the alterations of microbial protein functionalities correlated with disease-associated dysbiosis of the intestinal microbiota. Here, the authors utilize the well-characterized murine T cell transfer model of colitis to find specific changes within the intestinal luminal proteome associated with inflammation. MS proteomic analysis of colonic samples permitted the identification of ≈10 000-12 000 unique peptides that corresponded to 5610 protein clusters identified across three groups, including the colitic Rag1-/- T cell recipients, isogenic Rag1-/- controls, and wild-type mice. The authors demonstrate that the colitic mice exhibited a significant increase in Proteobacteria and Verrucomicrobia and show that such alterations in the microbial communities contributed to the enrichment of specific proteins with transcription and translation gene ontology terms. In combination with 16S sequencing, the authors' metaproteomics-based microbiome studies provide a foundation for assessing alterations in intestinal luminal protein functionalities in a robust and well-characterized mouse model of colitis, and set the stage for future studies to further explore the functional mechanisms of altered protein functionalities associated with dysbiosis and inflammation.

Keywords: ComPIL; colitis; metaproteomics; microbiome.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Colitis / metabolism*
  • Colitis / microbiology
  • Colon / metabolism*
  • Colon / microbiology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Inflammation / metabolism*
  • Inflammation / microbiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microbiota*
  • Proteome / analysis*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Proteome