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Interspecies variation in hominid gut microbiota controls host gene regulation

By Amanda L. Muehlbauer, Allison L Richards, Adnan Alazizi, Michael Burns, Andres Gomez, Jonathan B. Clayton, Klara Petrzelkova, Camilla Cascardo, Justyna Resztak, Xiaoquan Wen, Roger Pique-Regi, Francesca Luca, Ran Blekhman

Posted 17 Aug 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.08.17.255059

The gut microbiome exhibits extreme compositional variation between hominid hosts. However, it is unclear how this variation impacts host physiology, and whether this effect can be mediated through microbial regulation of host gene expression in interacting epithelial cells. Here, we characterized the transcriptional response of colonic epithelial cells in vitro to live microbial communities extracted from humans, chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans. We found most host genes exhibit a conserved response, whereby they respond similarly to the four hominid microbiomes, while some genes respond only to microbiomes from specific host species. Genes that exhibit such a divergent response are associated with relevant intestinal diseases in humans, such as inflammatory bowel disease and Crohn's disease. Lastly, we found that inflammation-associated microbial species regulate the expression of host genes previously associated with inflammatory bowel disease, suggesting health-related consequences for species-specific host-microbiome interactions across hominids. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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