MicroRNAs manage gut microbes

Tiny pieces of genetic material known as microRNAs do a big job: They control gene activity inside bacteria in the intestines, a new study finds. The little RNAs also control the mix of microbes living in the gut.

Those functions help keep the intestines healthy, researchers report. If the findings hold up, microRNAs may become a tool for shaping the composition of the body's microbes, or microbiome.

Cells lining the colons of both humans and mice pump out microRNAs, Shirong Liu, an immunologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues discovered. Those microRNAs can slip inside bacteria to control activity of specific genes, the team found in research with mice. Dialing gene activity up or down could stimulate or suppress growth of certain bacteria.

Mice that couldn't produce microRNAs in their colons were more prone to develop colitis, an inflammation of the colon's lining. When researchers gave the microRNA-deficient mice infusions of normal microRNA mixes, the rodents had less severe symptoms. Those results suggest that humans and mice use microRNAs to control bacteria and keep their colons healthy.
Likes: Thinktank

Comments

Blog entry information

Author
seunderwood
Views
270
Comments
2
Last update

More entries in User Blogs

  • Day 78
    Just a quick update to say that I'm now doing a lot better than I was...
  • Autoimmune test results
    These look great, so I am happy this isn't causing me any issues and...
  • Day 68
    Well I can tell it's July, pollen fungus and spores have definitely hit...
  • Day 67
    So it looks as if brightcandle had a crash by incorporating new items...
  • Day 66 - Dose 3
    Felt really good all day today. Was even able to go out at lunchtime...

More entries from seunderwood