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Microbiota-derived metabolite controls epigenetic regulation of gene expression in the gut to promote tissue repair


New research from SMI member Theresa Alenghat of Alenghat Lab shows that the gut microbiota contains an important enzyme, phytase, that breaks down dietary phytate into IP3. IP3 in turn activates HDAC3 activity in epithelial cells to promote intestinal tissue repair, particularly in DSS -colitis. Interestingly, the enzyme phytase was significantly underrepresented in the microbiome of ulcerative colitis patients compared to non-IBD controls, and IP3 promoted growth of human colonoids. Thus HDAC3 serves as an epigenetic sensor of microbial metabolites.