Zerumbone Restores Gut Microbiota Composition in ETBF Colonized AOM/DSS Mice

J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2020 Nov 28;30(11):1640-1650. doi: 10.4014/jmb.2006.06034.


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the leading cause of common malignant neoplasm worldwide. Many studies have analyzed compositions of gut microbiota associated with various diseases such as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and colon cancer. One of the most representative bacteria involved in CRC is enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis (ETBF), a species belonging to phylum Bacteroidetes. We used ETBF colonized mice with azoxymethane (AOM)/dextran sulphate sodium (DSS) and zerumbone, a compound with anti-bacterial effect, to determine whether zerumbone could restore intestinal microbiota composition. Four experimental groups of mice were used: sham, ETBF colonized AOM/DSS group, ETBF colonized AOM/DSS group zerumbone 60 mg kg-1 (ETBF/AOM/ DSS + Z (60)), and only zerumbone (60 mg kg-1)-treated group. We performed reversible dye terminators-based analysis of 16S rRNA gene region V3-V4 for group comparison. Microbiota compositions of ETBF/AOM/DSS + Z (60) group and ETBF colonized AOM/DSS group not given zerumbone were significantly different. There were more Bacteroides in ETBF/AOM/DSS + Z (60) group than those in ETBF colonized AOM/DSS group, suggesting that B. fragilis could be a normal flora activated by zerumbone. In addition, based on linear discriminant analysis of effect size (LEfSe) analysis, microbial diversity decreased significantly in the ETBF colonized AOM/DSS group. However, after given zerumbone, the taxonomic relative abundance was increased. These findings suggest that zerumbone not only influenced the microbial diversity and richness, but also could be helpful for enhancing the balance of gut microbial composition. In this work, we demonstrate that zerumbone could restore the composition of intestinal microbiota.

Keywords: Colorectal cancer; ETBF; inflammation; microbial diversity; zerumbone.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Azoxymethane / pharmacology*
  • Bacteria / classification
  • Bacteria / drug effects
  • Bacteroides fragilis / growth & development*
  • Colon / microbiology
  • Colon / pathology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / microbiology
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / microbiology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Dextran Sulfate / pharmacology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / drug effects*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / genetics
  • Mice
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • Sesquiterpenes / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • Sesquiterpenes
  • zerumbone
  • Dextran Sulfate
  • Azoxymethane