Metaproteomics to Decipher CF Host-Microbiota Interactions: Overview, Challenges and Future Perspectives

Genes (Basel). 2021 Jun 9;12(6):892. doi: 10.3390/genes12060892.


Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a hereditary disease caused by mutations in the CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene, triggering dysfunction of the anion channel in several organs including the lung and gut. The main cause of morbidity and mortality is chronic infection. The microbiota is now included among the additional factors that could contribute to the exacerbation of patient symptoms, to treatment outcome, and more generally to the phenotypic variability observed in CF patients. In recent years, various omics tools have started to shed new light on microbial communities associated with CF and host-microbiota interactions. In this context, proteomics targets the key effectors of the responses from organisms, and thus their phenotypes. Recent advances are promising in terms of gaining insights into the CF microbiota and its relation with the host. This review provides an overview of the contributions made by proteomics and metaproteomics to our knowledge of the complex host-microbiota partnership in CF. Considering the strengths and weaknesses of proteomics-based approaches in profiling the microbiota in the context of other diseases, we illustrate their potential and discuss possible strategies to overcome their limitations in monitoring both the respiratory and intestinal microbiota in sample from patients with CF.

Keywords: cystic fibrosis; mass spectrometry; microbiota; proteomics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cystic Fibrosis / metabolism
  • Cystic Fibrosis / microbiology*
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions*
  • Humans
  • Metagenomics / methods*
  • Microbiota*
  • Proteome / genetics
  • Proteome / metabolism
  • Proteomics / methods*


  • Proteome