Association Between Human Gut Microbiome and N-Glycan Composition of Total Plasma Proteome

Front Microbiol. 2022 Apr 29;13:811922. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2022.811922. eCollection 2022.


Being one of the most dynamic entities in the human body, glycosylation of proteins fine-tunes the activity of the organismal machinery, including the immune system, and mediates the interaction with the human microbial consortium, typically represented by the gut microbiome. Using data from 194 healthy individuals, we conducted an associational study to uncover potential relations between the gut microbiome and the blood plasma N-glycome, including N-glycome of immunoglobulin G. While lacking strong linkages on the multivariate level, we were able to identify associations between alpha and beta microbiome diversity and the blood plasma N-glycome profile. Moreover, for two bacterial genera, namely, Bilophila and Clostridium innocuum, significant associations with specific glycans were also shown. The study's results suggest a non-trivial, possibly weak link between the total plasma N-glycome and the gut microbiome, predominantly involving glycans related to the immune system proteins, including immunoglobulin G. Further studies of glycans linked to microbiome-related proteins in well-selected patient groups are required to conclusively establish specific associations.

Keywords: 16S sequencing; Bilophila; IgG N-glycome; mucosal microbiome; plasma N-glycome.