Endogenous murine microbiota member Faecalibaculum rodentium and its human homologue protect from intestinal tumour growth

Nat Microbiol. 2020 Mar;5(3):511-524. doi: 10.1038/s41564-019-0649-5. Epub 2020 Jan 27.


The microbiota has been shown to promote intestinal tumourigenesis, but a possible anti-tumourigenic effect has also been postulated. Here, we demonstrate that changes in the microbiota and mucus composition are concomitant with tumourigenesis. We identified two anti-tumourigenic strains of the microbiota-Faecalibaculum rodentium and its human homologue, Holdemanella biformis-that are strongly under-represented during tumourigenesis. Reconstitution of ApcMin/+ or azoxymethane- and dextran sulfate sodium-treated mice with an isolate of F. rodentium (F. PB1) or its metabolic products reduced tumour growth. Both F. PB1 and H. biformis produced short-chain fatty acids that contributed to control protein acetylation and tumour cell proliferation by inhibiting calcineurin and NFATc3 activation in mouse and human settings. We have thus identified endogenous anti-tumourigenic bacterial strains with strong diagnostic, therapeutic and translational potential.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Colonic Neoplasms / microbiology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / therapy
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • DNA, Bacterial / isolation & purification
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile / metabolism
  • Female
  • Firmicutes / isolation & purification
  • Firmicutes / physiology*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / physiology*
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Intestinal Neoplasms / microbiology*
  • Intestinal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Intestines / microbiology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Middle Aged
  • RNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • RNA, Bacterial / isolation & purification


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile
  • RNA, Bacterial

Supplementary concepts

  • Faecalibaculum rodentium