Substrate-driven gene expression in Roseburia inulinivorans: Importance of inducible enzymes in the utilization of inulin and starch

Karen P. Scott, Jennifer C. Martin, Christophe Chassard, Marlene Clerget, Joanna Potrykus, Gillian P. Campbell, Claus-Dieter Mayer, Pauline Young, Garry Rucklidge, Alan G. Ramsay, Harry J. Flint

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98 Citations (Scopus)


Roseburia inulinivorans is a recently identified motile representative of the Firmicutes that contributes to butyrate formation from a variety of dietary polysaccharide substrates in the human large intestine. Microarray analysis was used here to investigate substrate-driven gene-expression changes in R. inulinivorans A2-194. A cluster of fructo-oligosaccharide/inulin utilization genes induced during growth on inulin included one encoding a beta-fructofuranosidase protein that was prominent in the proteome of inulin-grown cells. This cluster also included a 6-phosphofructokinase and an ABC transport system, whereas a distinct inulin-induced 1-phosphofructokinase was linked to a fructose-specific phosphoenolpyruvate-dependent sugar phosphotransferase system (PTS II transport enzyme). Real-time PCR analysis showed that the beta-fructofuranosidase and adjacent ABC transport protein showed greatest induction during growth on inulin, whereas the 1-phosphofructokinase enzyme and linked sugar phosphotransferase transport system were most strongly up-regulated during growth on fructose, indicating that these two clusters play distinct roles in the use of inulin. The R. inulinivorans beta-fructofuranosidase was overexpressed in Escherichia coli and shown to hydrolyze fructans ranging from inulin down to sucrose, with greatest activity on fructo-oligosaccharides. Genes induced on starch included the major extracellular a-amylase and two distinct alpha-glucanotransferases together with a gene encoding a flagellin protein. The latter response may be concerned with improving bacterial access to insoluble starch particles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4672-4679
Number of pages8
Issue numberSupplement 1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2011


  • anaerobic gut bacteria
  • differential gene expression
  • fructo-oligosaccharides
  • butyrate
  • prebiotic
  • human fecal flora
  • beta-fructofuranosidase
  • human gut
  • human colon
  • lactobacillus-acidophilus
  • bifidobacterium-lactis
  • molecular analysis
  • escherichia-coli
  • dominant group
  • bacteria


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