How some gut microbes awaken 'zombie' viruses in their neighbors

Hip

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Very interesting.

Looks like colibactin, this virus-reawakening compound produced by certain gut bacteria, is also genotoxic, and is linked to colorectal cancer.

Colibactin is found in certain strains of Escherichia coli, and is also present in various Enterobacteriaceae (a group which includes Escherichia coli, Klebsiella, Proteus Enterobacter, Citrobacter, Salmonella, Shigella and Serratia).Ref: here

About 20% of humans have an E. coli species in their gut which produces colibactin.

Colibactin is only produced by bacterial strains containing a polyketide synthase genomic island (pks) or clb biosynthetic gene cluster. About 20% of humans are colonized with E. coli that harbor the pks island. Ref: here



This study examined the anti-cancer effects of inhibitors of colibactin in mice. These inhibitors were added to the drinking water of mice. The study found the number of cancers decreased by 3.5 times in the mice receiving the colibactin inhibitor.

It's possible that these colibactin inhibitors would be beneficial for ME/CFS patients, if patients have a species of bacteria in their guts which produce colibactin, and the colibactin in turn causes viruses to reactivate in the gut.

I cannot get hold of the full study on Sci Hub to see what these colibactin inhibitors are, but the abstract says they are small molecule boron-based compounds.
 

Judee

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Hip

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Well found!

Although looking at the full text, they refer to these colibactin inhibitors as "compound 1" and "compound 2", but I cannot find in that paper the actual chemical composition of these two compounds, apart from the fact that they are boron-based.

Although possibly that info might be in supplementary table S2, since the paper says:
The drug-like properties of the compounds (see online supplementary table S2) were computed with ...