Human gut Bacteroidetes can utilize yeast mannan through a selfish mechanism

Journal name:
Nature
Volume:
517,
Pages:
165–169
Date published:
DOI:
doi:10.1038/nature13995
Received
Accepted
Published online

Abstract

Yeasts, which have been a component of the human diet for at least 7,000 years, possess an elaborate cell wall α-mannan. The influence of yeast mannan on the ecology of the human microbiota is unknown. Here we show that yeast α-mannan is a viable food source for the Gram-negative bacterium Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, a dominant member of the microbiota. Detailed biochemical analysis and targeted gene disruption studies support a model whereby limited cleavage of α-mannan on the surface generates large oligosaccharides that are subsequently depolymerized to mannose by the action of periplasmic enzymes. Co-culturing studies showed that metabolism of yeast mannan by B. thetaiotaomicron presents a ‘selfish’ model for the catabolism of this difficult to breakdown polysaccharide. Genomic comparison with B. thetaiotaomicron in conjunction with cell culture studies show that a cohort of highly successful members of the microbiota has evolved to consume sterically-restricted yeast glycans, an adaptation that may reflect the incorporation of eukaryotic microorganisms into the human diet.

At a glance

Figures

  1. B. thetaiotaomicron PULs involved in yeast [agr]-mannan metabolism, and utilization of the glycan in Bacteroidetes.
    Figure 1: B. thetaiotaomicron PULs involved in yeast α-mannan metabolism, and utilization of the glycan in Bacteroidetes.

    a, Genes encoding known or predicted functionalities are colour-coded and, where appropriate, annotated according to their CAZy family. SGBP; surface glycan binding protein. b, Structures of yeast (S. cerevisiae) mannan and HMNG. c, Cells were grown on media containing glycans as the sole carbon source (n = 3 separate cultures per substrate), and susC transcripts derived from PULs that encode GH76 and/or, GH92 enzymes were quantified by qPCR. The fold change relative to glucose-grown cells is shown on the y axis and the x axis shows the genes probed. Inset: levels of susC transcripts derived from MAN-PUL1/2/3 when B. thetaiotaomicron was cultured on mannan comprising only the α-1,6-Man backbone or Candida albicans mannan. Data are averages and standard deviations of three biological replicates. d, Strains of 29 different bacterial species of Bacteroidetes (number of strains in parentheses) were inoculated into minimal media containing S. cerevisiae mannan as the sole carbon source (n = 2 replicate cultures per strain). Growth measured at 48 h at A600nm. Inset: phylogeny of Bacteroidetes species with bootstrap numbers indicated; organisms growing on mannan connected by red lines. The non-Bacteroides genera were Odoribacter (O), Parabacteroides (P) and Dysgonomonas (D).

  2. Mannan PULs enable colonization of gnotobiotic mice; key biochemical and cellular features of the encoded enzymes.
    Figure 2: Mannan PULs enable colonization of gnotobiotic mice; key biochemical and cellular features of the encoded enzymes.

    a, Colonization of gnotobiotic mice (n = 5) by wild type B. thetaiotaomicron (red) and a mutant (black) lacking MAN-PUL1/2/3 (ΔMAN-PUL1/2/3). On day 0 mice were gavaged with ~108 colony-forming units (c.f.u.) of 50:50 of the two B. thetaiotaomicron strains and then fed a control diet lacking B. thetaiotaomicron-digestible glycans (green). Left, after 7 days the control diet was supplemented with 1% YM in drinking water (pink shading). Middle, identical treatment as to the left panel except no mannan was included after day 7 (shaded green). At day 21 mannan in the water was switched between the groups in the left and middle panels, indicated by the colour panels (pink = mannan, green = no mannan). Right, mice fed the control diet (shaded green) were switched to a diet containing leavened bread (blue). The average abundance of the mannan utilization mutant (black) in mice fed the bread diet compared to the corresponding time points in mice fed the glycan-free diet (mean ± s.e.m., 81% ± 1.2% in animals fed the bread diet versus 90% ± 1.7% in mice fed the glycan-free diet; P = 0.00005 by unpaired Student’s t-test). Time points at which there was a significant difference between the mutant and wild type B. thetaiotaomicron on the bread diet compared to the glycan-free diet (P ≤ 0.05) are indicated with an asterisk . b, Fluorescent- and light-microscopy images of B. thetaiotaomicron incubated with polyclonal antibodies against BT3792 and BT3774. c, Western blots of B. thetaiotaomicron cells cultured on yeast mannan that were untreated with proteinase K (0 h) or incubated with 2 mg ml−1 proteinase K for 16 h. RP, recombinant protein. Blots were probed with antibodies against the B. thetaiotaomicron enzymes. Localization blots and microscopy images (b, c) are representative data from three biological replicates. d, Phosphorylated high mannose N-glycan MNN4 and RNAase B incubated with BT2629 (GH92 α-mannosidase), BT3783 (phosphatase) or BT3774 (GH38 α-mannosidase) and the products analysed by capillary electrophoresis. Man5 to Man9 (subscript numbers refer to the number of Man units in the N-glycans) lack phosphate and mannose-1-phosphate groups. P* indicates the N-glycan contains a single phosphate, which is in the following structure: Man-α-1-phosphate-α-6-Man-α-1,2-Man. e, Catalytic efficiency of the endo-α-1,6-mannanases against α-1,6-mannooligosaccharides (see Supplementary Information Table 4 for full data). D.P., degree of polymerization of the mannooligosaccharides.

  3. Model of yeast mannan deconstruction by B. thetaiotaomicron.
    Figure 3: Model of yeast mannan deconstruction by B. thetaiotaomicron.

    Boxes show examples of bonds cleaved by the endo-α-1,2-mannosidase BT3862, by the α-1,3- and α-1,2-mannosidase activities displayed by BT2629 and BT3784, respectively, and the Man-1-P and α-1,2-Man linkages targeted by BT3774. Extended Data Fig. 3 shows 3D structures (cartoons, colour-ramped from the amino terminus (blue) to the carboxy terminus (red)) of the enzymes that play a key role in mannan degradation. In this model limited degradation occurs at the surface and the bulk of glycan degradation occurs in the periplasm. SusC-like proteins mediate transport across the outer membrane7.

  4. Model of HMNG depolymerization by B. thetaiotaomicron.
    Figure 4: Model of HMNG depolymerization by B. thetaiotaomicron.

    The interaction of mannose with the surface glycan binding protein (SGBP) is shown, while the binding of the SusD homologue (D) to the reducing end GlcNAc directs the N-glycan into the SusC-like (C) porin. In both the yeast mannan and the HMNG models the majority of glycan degradation occurs in the periplasm and not on the surface. The enzymes probably involved in the periplasmic degradation of the trisaccharide generated by the HMNG-PUL-encoded system are addressed in Supplementary Information section 4.3.

  5. Bacteroides co-culture sharing experiments.
    Figure 5: Bacteroides co-culture sharing experiments.

    ad, B. thetaiotaomicron was co-cultured with Bacteroides cellulosilyticus WH2 (a, b) or with Bacteroides xylanisolvens NLAE-zI-p352 (c, d) with either mannan (a, c) or mannose (b, d) as the sole carbon source. Each non-mannan user was also cultured on mannan independently. The upper graph in each panel depicts the c.f.u. ml−1 of each strain, relative to the c.f.u. ml−1 at inoculation. Total c.f.u. ml−1 was determined by colony counts, and the proportion of each bacteria was determined by qPCR of marker genes from genomic DNA (shown in the lower graph of each panel). Error bars represent s.d. of three biological replicates. Bc, B. cellulosilyticus; Bt, B. thetaiotaomicron; Bx, B. xylanisolvens.

  6. The role of specific B. thetaiotaomicron PULs and enzymes in utilization of mannan from S. cerevisiae and other yeast species.
    Extended Data Fig. 1: The role of specific B. thetaiotaomicron PULs and enzymes in utilization of mannan from S. cerevisiae and other yeast species.

    a, Growth of wild-type B. thetaiotaomicron on Candida albicans mannan and glucose. b, Growth of wild-type B. thetaiotaomicron and the mutant lacking MAN-PUL1 and MAN-PUL3 (ΔMAN-PUL1/3) on Schizosaccharomyces pombe α-mannan. c, Growth of wild-type B. thetaiotaomicron, and the B. thetaiotaomicron mutants lacking MAN-PUL2 (ΔMAN-PUL2), or all three mannan PULs (ΔMAN-PUL1/2/3) on S. cerevisiae α-mannan. d, The growth profile of wild-type B. thetaiotaomicron and the B. thetaiotaomicron mutant lacking bt3774 (Δbt3774) on S. cerevisiae mannan. In panels a, b, c and d, each point on the growth curve represents the mean of three biological replicates. e, Enzymes at 1 μM at 37 °C were incubated with either undecorated α-1,6-mannan (derived from mnn2 mutant of S. cerevisiae) (lanes 1–3) or mannan from S. pombe (lanes 4–9). Lanes 1 and 4, the mannans incubated in the absence of the enzymes; lanes 2 and 6, mannans incubated with the periplasmic mannanase BT3782; lanes 3 and 7, mannans incubated with the surface mannanase BT3792; lane 5, S. pombe mannan incubated with the GH97 α-galactosidase BT2620; lanes 8 and 9, S. pombe mannan incubated with BT2620/BT3782 and BT2620/BT3792, respectively. Lane 10 galactose standard; lane 11 α-1,6-mannooligosaccharides: mannose (M1), mannobiose (M2), mannotriose (M3) and mannotetraose (M4).

  7. Product profiling of GT32 glycosyltransferases encoded by MAN-PUL2.
    Extended Data Fig. 2: Product profiling of GT32 glycosyltransferases encoded by MAN-PUL2.

    a, HPAEC of biosynthetic reactions using mannose as an acceptor and GDP-α-Man as the donor. Mannobiose is formed in the presence of BT3775 (black) and mannotriose with BT3775 and BT3776 (red). The blue trace is a mannose standard. b, HPAEC of biosynthetic reactions with α-1,3-mannobiose as the acceptor and GDP-α-Man as the donor. BT3775 is not capable of extending mannobiose (black). In the presence of BT3775 and BT3776 mannotriose is produced (red). The blue trace is an α-1,3-mannobiose standard. c, d, MALDI-TOF analysis of the reaction products of BT3775 + BT3776 using mannose (c) and α-1,3-mannobiose (d) as an acceptor. e, NMR analysis of the α-1,3-mannobiose substrate. Peaks 1 and 3 correspond to the α-anomer and β-anomer of the mannose at the reducing end, respectively; peak 2 corresponds to the terminal α-mannosyl residue linked to O3 of the mannose at the reducing end. f, NMR analysis of the α-1,3,( α-1,6)-mannotriose BT3776 product. The numbering of the peaks are the same as in e. Peak 4 corresponds to the terminal α-mannosyl residue linked to O6 of the 3,6-linked mannose at the reducing end. g, Alditol-acetate linkage analysis of mannobiose produced by BT3775 from mannose. h, Alditol-acetate linkage analysis of branched (α-1,3),(α-1,6)-mannotriose produced by BT3776 from α-1,3-mannobiose. The green circles indicate the mannose residues present in carbohydrates identified by HPAEC, MALDI-TOF and NMR.

  8. The structures of enzymes that play a key role in yeast mannan degradation.
    Extended Data Fig. 3: The structures of enzymes that play a key role in yeast mannan degradation.

    a, Overlay of the hydrophobic conserved residues in the predicted substrate-binding cleft of BT3792 (yellow), BT2949 (cyan) and the Listeria protein Lin0763 (green; PDB code 3K7X), and the predicted catalytic aspartates. b, Solvent representation of BT3792 in which the predicted catalytic residues, Asp258 and Asp259, are coloured green. c, Overlay of BT3862 (cyan) with a homologue of the enzyme from B. xylanisolvens, BxGH99 (green; PDB code 4UTF) in complex with Man-α-1,3-isofagomine and α-1,2-mannobiose (Man residues coloured yellow and isofagomine pink). d, Solvent-exposed surface of the substrate binding cleft of the BxGH99 (teal) ligand complex overlaid with BT3862 (grey). The subsites are numbered with the catalytic residues, Glu 333 and Glu 336, coloured red and the solvent exposed O2 of Man bound at the −2 subsite and O1 and O6 of the Man located at the +2 subsite are coloured bright green. e, Overlay of BT3781 (green; PDB code 2P0V) with the substrate and catalytic residues of the Clostridium perfringens GH125 α-mannosidase CpGH125 (cyan; PDB code 3QT9), in which the ligand 6-S-α-d-mannopyranosyl-6-thio-a-d-mannopyranose (Man-S-Man) is shown in yellow. f, Solvent-exposed surface of BT3781 in the vicinity of the active site in which the catalytic residues (Glu 174 and Glu 439) are depicted in green. The position of Man-S-Man is based on the overlay shown in e. g, Overlay of BT3783 with the catalytic and substrate binding residues of a tyrosyl-DNA phosphodiesterase (PDB code 4GYZ) in complex with Mg2+ (slate-blue sphere) and phosphate (coloured orange). h, A region of the solvent-accessible surface of BT3783 in which the catalytic residues are coloured green. The figure was prepared using PyMOL. A detailed description of the structures of these proteins is provided in Supplementary Information section 5.0.

  9. The degradation of yeast mannan by B. thetaiotaomicron in culture and the selected enzymes expressed by the bacterium, and the stereochemistry of the reaction catalysed by GH76 endo-[agr]-1,6-mannanases.
    Extended Data Fig. 4: The degradation of yeast mannan by B. thetaiotaomicron in culture and the selected enzymes expressed by the bacterium, and the stereochemistry of the reaction catalysed by GH76 endo-α-1,6-mannanases.

    a, GH92 α-mannosidases at high concentrations (50 μM) were incubated with yeast mannan for 5 h in the absence (labelled GH92) or in the presence (GH92/GH76) of the endo-α-1,6-mannanase BT3782. The GH92 α-mannosidases in this example were BT2199 (1), BT2130 (2) and BT3773 (3). The GH76 endo-α-1,6-mannanase only releases mannooligosaccharides in the presence of BT2199; see also Supplementary Information section 4.1. b, B. thetaiotaomicron was grown on yeast mannan or glucose. Yeast mannan was incubated with no bacterium (1), B. thetaiotaomicron previously cultured on yeast mannan (2) and B. thetaiotaomicron grown on glucose (3). The cells were incubated for 5 h at 37 °C with the polysaccharide without a nitrogen source and thus were not growing. The products released by the B. thetaiotaomicron cells, analysed by TLC, were mediated by the activity of enzymes presented on the surface of B. thetaiotaomicron, and not through the action of periplasmic mannanases and mannosidases. The black box highlights very low levels of high molecular weight mannooligosaccharides generated by the cells incubated in yeast mannan. c, B. thetaiotaomicron was cultured for up to 48 h (stationary phase) on yeast mannan. The supernatant of the culture at the time points indicated were analysed by TLC. In all panels the samples were chromatographed with the following α-1,6-mannooligosaccharides: mannose, M1; mannobiose, M2; mannotriose, M3; mannotetraose, M4. d, The absorbance of the culture used in c. e, BT3792 (GH76) endo-α-1,6-mannosidase is a retaining glycoside hydrolase. Enzymatic hydrolysis of 4-nitrophenyl α-d-mannopyranosyl-1,6-α-d-mannopyranoside (S) was monitored by 1H-NMR spectroscopy (500 MHz). The stacked spectra show the reaction progress over time. SH1α is the anomeric proton of the reducing end mannopyranoside of the substrate, and SH1′α is the anomeric proton of the non-reducing end mannopyranoside. The reaction proceeds with the initial formation of the product, the α-anomer of α-1,6-mannobiose (P-α, peaks PH1α and PH1′α), which slowly mutarotates to the β-anomer (P-β, peaks PH1β and PH1′β). f, TLC analysis of S. cerevisiae mannan incubated without enzyme (lane 1), BT3774 (lane 2), BT3792 (lane 3), and BT3774 and BT3792 (lane 4). M1–M4 are α-mannnooligosaccharide standards numbered according to their d.p. GH76 mannanase BT3792 does not attack the backbone of S. cerevisiae mannan unless the side chains are first removed by the GH38 α-mannosidase BT3774, confirming that this enzyme cleaves the mannose α-1,2-linked to the mannan backbone. The data in a, b and c are representative of two biological replicates, while the data in f are representative of two technical replicates.

  10. The activity of periplasmic [agr]-mannosidases and the growth of different species of Bacteroides against yeast mannan.
    Extended Data Fig. 5: The activity of periplasmic α-mannosidases and the growth of different species of Bacteroides against yeast mannan.

    Structures of the mannans derived from wild-type and mutants of S. cerevisiae. The tables adjacent to the different yeast structures depict the initial rate of mannan hydrolysis by the four enzymes. The growth curves adjacent to the different mannan structures show the growth profile of B. thetaiotaomicron (black), B. ovatus (red) and B. xylanisolvens (blue) on the glycans (each point represents the mean growth of 3 separate cultures ± s.d.). The porcine-derived B. xylanisolvens strain shown here acquired MAN-PUL1 by lateral gene transfer (Extended Data Fig. 9), explaining its capacity to degrade processed mannans. Vertical error bars represent standard deviation of three separate replicates in each condition.

  11. The activity of GH76 [agr]-mannanases and GH125 [agr]-mannosidases.
    Extended Data Fig. 6: The activity of GH76 α-mannanases and GH125 α-mannosidases.

    a, b, BT3792 and BT3782, respectively, were incubated with α-1,6-mannotetraose at a concentration less double KM. Substrate depletion was measured using HPAEC and the rate (right of a and b) enabled kcat/KM to be determined. c, BT3792 and BT3782 were incubated with unbranched yeast mannan (derived from the S. cerevisiae mutant MNN2). The yeast mannan at 0.1% was incubated with the two GH76 α-1,6-mannanases for 1 h at 37 °C in 50 mM sodium phosphate buffer, pH 7.0. The limit products were analysed by TLC. α-1,6-Mannooligosaccharides are identified by their degree of polymerization (M1, mannose; M2, mannobiose; M3, mannotriose; M4, mannotetraose); IP, injection peak. d, e, BT2632 and BT3781 at 100 nM were incubated with 1 mg ml−1 of the debranched mannan for 1 h in the buffer described above. TLC analysis (d) and HPAEC traces (e) of the reactions are shown. The data in c and d are representative of two technical replicates.

  12. HMNG deconstruction by B. thetaiotaomicron.
    Extended Data Fig. 7: HMNG deconstruction by B. thetaiotaomicron.

    a, Structure of the HMNG PUL. Genes drawn to scale with their orientation indicated. Genes encoding known or predicted functionalities are colour-coded and, where appropriate, are also annotated according to their CAZy glycoside hydrolase (GH) family number. SGBP represents a surface glycan binding protein. b, BT3994 was incubated with α-1,6-mannotetraose (Man4) or the high mannose N-glycan Man5GlcNAc2, with both oligosaccharides labelled with 2-aminobenzamide (AB). At the indicated time points aliquots were removed and analysed by HPAEC using a fluorescence detection system. While Man5GlcNac2-AB was hydrolysed by BT3994, the enzyme was not active against Man4-AB. c, Chicken ovalbumin was incubated with buffer (1) or 1 μM of BT3987 (2) in 20 mM Na-HEPES buffer, pH 7.5, for 5 h at 37 °C, and the soluble material was permethylated and analysed by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. The high mannose N-glycans released are labelled. d, Western blot of B. thetaiotaomicron cells cultured on yeast mannan that were untreated with proteinase K (0 h) or incubated with 2 mg ml−1 proteinase K for 16 h (16 h). The lane labelled RP contained a purified recombinant form of BT3990. The blots were probed with antibodies against BT3990. The data in d are representative of two biological replicates. e, f, Representative isothermal calorimetry titrations for BT3984 titrated with Gal-β1,4-GlcNAc (LacNAc; 25 mM) (e), and for BT3986 titrated with mannose (50 mM) (f). The top half of each panel shows the raw isothermal calorimetry titration heats; the bottom half, the integrated peak areas fitted using a single binding model by MicroCal Origin software. ITC was carried out in 50 mM Na-HEPES, pH 7.5 at 25 °C. The affinities and thermodynamic parameters of binding are shown in Supplementary Table 5. g, Growth profile of wild-type B. thetaiotaomicron (WT Bt; black) and the mutant Δbt3993 (red), which lacks the extra-cellular factor σ regulator gene of HMNG-PUL, cultured on Man8GlcNAc2 (each curve shows the mean ± s.d. of 3 separate cultures).

  13. Metagenomic analysis of the occurrence of the yeast mannan PULs in humans.
    Extended Data Fig. 8: Metagenomic analysis of the occurrence of the yeast mannan PULs in humans.

    Abundance of Bacteroides mannan PULs in humans from a survey of metagenomic sequencing data from a total of 250 adult human samples (211 healthy, 27 ulcerative colitis, 12 Crohn’s disease; see Methods for references). Data sets were individually queried by BLAST using either each entire mannan PUL (PULs 2,3) or a sub-fragment that was trimmed to eliminate cross-detection of other species genomes beyond B. thetaiotaomicron and porcine B. xylanisolvens (PUL1; see Methods for additional search details). Each horizontal line represents the presence of a hit in a single individual. The leftmost column summarizes the total mannan PUL content in each person (annotated according to the colour key in the upper right corner). The mannan PUL frequency across all 250 samples is shown at the bottom for each condition and is compared to the frequency of several other PULs implicated in xyloglucan and porphyran utilization. Graph at far right illustrates the variation in sequencing depth for each sample/study; black lines show the average depth in megabase pairs (Mbp) for each study; the light grey line shows the depth for each individual sample.

  14. Presence of a conjugative transposon (cTn) that contains MAN-PUL1 in the genomes of porcine B. xylanisolvens strains and the mannan presented to these organisms.
    Extended Data Fig. 9: Presence of a conjugative transposon (cTn) that contains MAN-PUL1 in the genomes of porcine B. xylanisolvens strains and the mannan presented to these organisms.

    a, Shown across the top is a schematic of a cTn that has been integrated into the 3′ end of a tRNAphe gene in B. thetaiotaomicron strain VPI-5482. Integration is mediated by a 22 bp direct repeat sequence that is contained in tRNAphe and repeated again at the other side of the cTn (right insertion site). The location of B. thetaiotaomicron MAN-PUL1 is denoted within the larger cTn element using a colour scheme identical to Fig. 1a. The lower panel shows an expanded view of the MAN-PUL1 locus in five sequenced strains of B. xylanisolvens from the faeces of pigs fed a diet enriched with distillers grains that were fermented with yeast. A nearly identical copy (both by amino acid homology and syntenic organization) of this genomic region is present in B. thetaiotaomicron and the porcine B. xylanisolvens strains. Although the draft genomes of the B. xylanisolvens strains contains gaps in all five assemblies at the left side of the MAN-PUL1, the right side insertion site was resolved in all genomes, suggesting that the B. xylanisolvens loci were also transferred by lateral transfer at some point in the history of these strains. b, Forty-three different strains from five Bacteroidetes isolated from animal guts (each indicated with a solid circle) were inoculated into minimal media containing S. cerevisiae mannan as the sole carbon source. The growth of the cultures was measured over 48 h by recording the optical density at 600 nm. c, TLC analysis of the products generated by incubating BT3774 and BT3792 with α-mannan extracted from the distillers grain fed to the pigs from which the B. xylanisolvens were isolated. The data are representative of two technical replicates.

  15. In vivo and in vitro expression of the mannan PULs.
    Extended Data Fig. 10: In vivo and in vitro expression of the mannan PULs.

    a, Level of susC-like transcripts derived from MAN-PUL1 (BT2626), MAN-PUL2 (BT3788) and MAN-PUL3 (BT3854) from B. thetaiotaomicron in monocolonized gnotobiotic mice fed a glycan-free diet deficient in B. thetaiotaomicron-digestible glycans (red), the same diet with added yeast mannan (1% w/v in drinking water) as the only usable polysaccharide (green), and a diet containing 50% bread (blue). The levels of the susC transcripts were quantified relative to the same mRNA species in B. thetaiotaomicron cultured in vitro on glucose minimal medium (MM-G). Note that in all cases, expression of MAN-PUL genes is equally high in vivo. b, Transcription of the same mannan susC-like genes in response to increasing concentrations of yeast mannan in the media after 30 min exposure. The prototypic susC (BT3701) involved in starch metabolism is shown for comparison. c, An identical exposure experiment to that shown in b, except that glucose-grown B. thetaiotaomicron cells were exposed to aqueous extracts of the cereal grain diet (natural diet) fed to mice before the experiment, or the digestible glycan-free control diet (glycan-free diet) used as a base for all feeding treatments. Exposure was conducted for 30 min to determine if any diet extract contained contaminating levels of mannan that could be detected by B. thetaiotaomicron cells; inclusion of purified mannan (5 mg ml−1) in addition to the glycan-free diet served as positive controls. In all panels, the results represent the mean of 3 biological replicates and error bars represent s.d.

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References

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Author information

  1. These authors contributed equally to this work.

    • Fiona Cuskin,
    • Elisabeth C. Lowe &
    • Max J. Temple
  2. Deceased.

    • Cherie J. Ziemer

Affiliations

  1. Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences, Newcastle University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE2 4HH, UK

    • Fiona Cuskin,
    • Elisabeth C. Lowe,
    • Max J. Temple,
    • Yanping Zhu,
    • Artur Rogowski,
    • Jose L. Munōz-Munōz,
    • Andrew Day &
    • Harry J. Gilbert
  2. Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, The University of Georgia, 315 Riverbend Road, Athens, Georgia 30602, USA

    • Fiona Cuskin,
    • Yanping Zhu,
    • Maria J. Peña,
    • D. Wade Abbott &
    • Harry J. Gilbert
  3. Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109 USA

    • Elizabeth A. Cameron,
    • Nicholas A. Pudlo,
    • Nathan T. Porter,
    • Karthik Urs &
    • Eric C. Martens
  4. Department of Chemistry, University of York, York YO10 5DD, UK

    • Andrew J. Thompson &
    • Gideon J. Davies
  5. School of Chemistry and Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia

    • Alan Cartmell,
    • Zalihe Hakki,
    • Gaetano Speciale &
    • Spencer J. Williams
  6. Interdisciplinary Biochemistry Graduate Program, Indiana University, 800 E. Kirkwood Avenue, Bloomington, Indiana 47405, USA

    • Brian S. Hamilton
  7. Department of Chemistry, Indiana University, 800 E. Kirkwood Avenue, Bloomington, Indiana 47405, USA

    • Rui Chen
  8. Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Kansas School of Pharmacy, 2095 Constant Avenue, Lawrence, Kansas 66047, USA

    • Thomas J. Tolbert
  9. Oxyrane, 9052 Ghent, Belgium

    • Kathleen Piens,
    • Debby Bracke &
    • Wouter Vervecken
  10. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge Research Centre, Lethbridge, Alberta T1J 4B1, Canada

    • Richard McLean &
    • D. Wade Abbott
  11. Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia V8P 5C2, Canada

    • Michael D. Suits &
    • Alisdair B. Boraston
  12. USDA, Agricultural Research Service, National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, Ames, Iowa 50011, USA

    • Todd Atherly &
    • Cherie J. Ziemer

Contributions

Enzyme characterization: F.C., M.J.T., J.L.M.-M. and D.W.A. Capillary electrophoresis: D.B., K.P. and W.V. E.C.L. created gene deletion strains and determined phenotypes with F.C. E.C.L., F.C. and A.R. performed enzyme localisation. F.C. and E.C.L. carried out the co-culturing experiments. Gene expression analysis: E.A.C., N.A.P. and E.C.M. Growth analysis on purified mannans and HMNG: E.C.L., N.A.P., K.U. and E.C.M. Characterization of HMNG binding proteins: Y.Z. Characterization of the Δbt3774 mutant: A.D. Phylogenetic reconstruction and metagenomic analysis: E.C.M. Gnotobiotic mouse experiments: E.A.C., N.A.P., N.T.P. and E.C.M. Purification of HMNG: T.J.T., B.S.H. and R.C. Isolation and genomic analysis of pig gut strains: T.A., C.J.Z. A.C. and G.S. performed NMR experiments on GH76 and M.J.P. on GT products. Z.H. and G.S. synthesized substrates. Crystallographic studies by A.J.T., G.J.D., M.D.S., A.B.B. and R.M. Experiments designed by F.C., E.C.L., G.J.D., S.J.W., D.W.A., E.C.M. and H.J.G. The manuscript was written primarily by H.J.G. and E.C.M. with contributions from S.J.W., G.J.D. and D.W.A. E.C.L. and E.C.M. prepared the figures.

Competing financial interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to:

The protein crystal structures reported in this study have been deposited under the following PDB accession codes: 4C1R (BT3783-Mg binary complex); 4C1S (BT3792); and 4UTF (BxGH99/Man-IFG/mannobiose ternary complex).

Author details

Extended data figures and tables

Extended Data Figures

  1. Extended Data Figure 1: The role of specific B. thetaiotaomicron PULs and enzymes in utilization of mannan from S. cerevisiae and other yeast species. (288 KB)

    a, Growth of wild-type B. thetaiotaomicron on Candida albicans mannan and glucose. b, Growth of wild-type B. thetaiotaomicron and the mutant lacking MAN-PUL1 and MAN-PUL3 (ΔMAN-PUL1/3) on Schizosaccharomyces pombe α-mannan. c, Growth of wild-type B. thetaiotaomicron, and the B. thetaiotaomicron mutants lacking MAN-PUL2 (ΔMAN-PUL2), or all three mannan PULs (ΔMAN-PUL1/2/3) on S. cerevisiae α-mannan. d, The growth profile of wild-type B. thetaiotaomicron and the B. thetaiotaomicron mutant lacking bt3774 (Δbt3774) on S. cerevisiae mannan. In panels a, b, c and d, each point on the growth curve represents the mean of three biological replicates. e, Enzymes at 1 μM at 37 °C were incubated with either undecorated α-1,6-mannan (derived from mnn2 mutant of S. cerevisiae) (lanes 1–3) or mannan from S. pombe (lanes 4–9). Lanes 1 and 4, the mannans incubated in the absence of the enzymes; lanes 2 and 6, mannans incubated with the periplasmic mannanase BT3782; lanes 3 and 7, mannans incubated with the surface mannanase BT3792; lane 5, S. pombe mannan incubated with the GH97 α-galactosidase BT2620; lanes 8 and 9, S. pombe mannan incubated with BT2620/BT3782 and BT2620/BT3792, respectively. Lane 10 galactose standard; lane 11 α-1,6-mannooligosaccharides: mannose (M1), mannobiose (M2), mannotriose (M3) and mannotetraose (M4).

  2. Extended Data Figure 2: Product profiling of GT32 glycosyltransferases encoded by MAN-PUL2. (305 KB)

    a, HPAEC of biosynthetic reactions using mannose as an acceptor and GDP-α-Man as the donor. Mannobiose is formed in the presence of BT3775 (black) and mannotriose with BT3775 and BT3776 (red). The blue trace is a mannose standard. b, HPAEC of biosynthetic reactions with α-1,3-mannobiose as the acceptor and GDP-α-Man as the donor. BT3775 is not capable of extending mannobiose (black). In the presence of BT3775 and BT3776 mannotriose is produced (red). The blue trace is an α-1,3-mannobiose standard. c, d, MALDI-TOF analysis of the reaction products of BT3775 + BT3776 using mannose (c) and α-1,3-mannobiose (d) as an acceptor. e, NMR analysis of the α-1,3-mannobiose substrate. Peaks 1 and 3 correspond to the α-anomer and β-anomer of the mannose at the reducing end, respectively; peak 2 corresponds to the terminal α-mannosyl residue linked to O3 of the mannose at the reducing end. f, NMR analysis of the α-1,3,( α-1,6)-mannotriose BT3776 product. The numbering of the peaks are the same as in e. Peak 4 corresponds to the terminal α-mannosyl residue linked to O6 of the 3,6-linked mannose at the reducing end. g, Alditol-acetate linkage analysis of mannobiose produced by BT3775 from mannose. h, Alditol-acetate linkage analysis of branched (α-1,3),(α-1,6)-mannotriose produced by BT3776 from α-1,3-mannobiose. The green circles indicate the mannose residues present in carbohydrates identified by HPAEC, MALDI-TOF and NMR.

  3. Extended Data Figure 3: The structures of enzymes that play a key role in yeast mannan degradation. (753 KB)

    a, Overlay of the hydrophobic conserved residues in the predicted substrate-binding cleft of BT3792 (yellow), BT2949 (cyan) and the Listeria protein Lin0763 (green; PDB code 3K7X), and the predicted catalytic aspartates. b, Solvent representation of BT3792 in which the predicted catalytic residues, Asp258 and Asp259, are coloured green. c, Overlay of BT3862 (cyan) with a homologue of the enzyme from B. xylanisolvens, BxGH99 (green; PDB code 4UTF) in complex with Man-α-1,3-isofagomine and α-1,2-mannobiose (Man residues coloured yellow and isofagomine pink). d, Solvent-exposed surface of the substrate binding cleft of the BxGH99 (teal) ligand complex overlaid with BT3862 (grey). The subsites are numbered with the catalytic residues, Glu 333 and Glu 336, coloured red and the solvent exposed O2 of Man bound at the −2 subsite and O1 and O6 of the Man located at the +2 subsite are coloured bright green. e, Overlay of BT3781 (green; PDB code 2P0V) with the substrate and catalytic residues of the Clostridium perfringens GH125 α-mannosidase CpGH125 (cyan; PDB code 3QT9), in which the ligand 6-S-α-d-mannopyranosyl-6-thio-a-d-mannopyranose (Man-S-Man) is shown in yellow. f, Solvent-exposed surface of BT3781 in the vicinity of the active site in which the catalytic residues (Glu 174 and Glu 439) are depicted in green. The position of Man-S-Man is based on the overlay shown in e. g, Overlay of BT3783 with the catalytic and substrate binding residues of a tyrosyl-DNA phosphodiesterase (PDB code 4GYZ) in complex with Mg2+ (slate-blue sphere) and phosphate (coloured orange). h, A region of the solvent-accessible surface of BT3783 in which the catalytic residues are coloured green. The figure was prepared using PyMOL. A detailed description of the structures of these proteins is provided in Supplementary Information section 5.0.

  4. Extended Data Figure 4: The degradation of yeast mannan by B. thetaiotaomicron in culture and the selected enzymes expressed by the bacterium, and the stereochemistry of the reaction catalysed by GH76 endo-α-1,6-mannanases. (392 KB)

    a, GH92 α-mannosidases at high concentrations (50 μM) were incubated with yeast mannan for 5 h in the absence (labelled GH92) or in the presence (GH92/GH76) of the endo-α-1,6-mannanase BT3782. The GH92 α-mannosidases in this example were BT2199 (1), BT2130 (2) and BT3773 (3). The GH76 endo-α-1,6-mannanase only releases mannooligosaccharides in the presence of BT2199; see also Supplementary Information section 4.1. b, B. thetaiotaomicron was grown on yeast mannan or glucose. Yeast mannan was incubated with no bacterium (1), B. thetaiotaomicron previously cultured on yeast mannan (2) and B. thetaiotaomicron grown on glucose (3). The cells were incubated for 5 h at 37 °C with the polysaccharide without a nitrogen source and thus were not growing. The products released by the B. thetaiotaomicron cells, analysed by TLC, were mediated by the activity of enzymes presented on the surface of B. thetaiotaomicron, and not through the action of periplasmic mannanases and mannosidases. The black box highlights very low levels of high molecular weight mannooligosaccharides generated by the cells incubated in yeast mannan. c, B. thetaiotaomicron was cultured for up to 48 h (stationary phase) on yeast mannan. The supernatant of the culture at the time points indicated were analysed by TLC. In all panels the samples were chromatographed with the following α-1,6-mannooligosaccharides: mannose, M1; mannobiose, M2; mannotriose, M3; mannotetraose, M4. d, The absorbance of the culture used in c. e, BT3792 (GH76) endo-α-1,6-mannosidase is a retaining glycoside hydrolase. Enzymatic hydrolysis of 4-nitrophenyl α-d-mannopyranosyl-1,6-α-d-mannopyranoside (S) was monitored by 1H-NMR spectroscopy (500 MHz). The stacked spectra show the reaction progress over time. SH1α is the anomeric proton of the reducing end mannopyranoside of the substrate, and SH1′α is the anomeric proton of the non-reducing end mannopyranoside. The reaction proceeds with the initial formation of the product, the α-anomer of α-1,6-mannobiose (P-α, peaks PH1α and PH1′α), which slowly mutarotates to the β-anomer (P-β, peaks PH1β and PH1′β). f, TLC analysis of S. cerevisiae mannan incubated without enzyme (lane 1), BT3774 (lane 2), BT3792 (lane 3), and BT3774 and BT3792 (lane 4). M1–M4 are α-mannnooligosaccharide standards numbered according to their d.p. GH76 mannanase BT3792 does not attack the backbone of S. cerevisiae mannan unless the side chains are first removed by the GH38 α-mannosidase BT3774, confirming that this enzyme cleaves the mannose α-1,2-linked to the mannan backbone. The data in a, b and c are representative of two biological replicates, while the data in f are representative of two technical replicates.

  5. Extended Data Figure 5: The activity of periplasmic α-mannosidases and the growth of different species of Bacteroides against yeast mannan. (360 KB)

    Structures of the mannans derived from wild-type and mutants of S. cerevisiae. The tables adjacent to the different yeast structures depict the initial rate of mannan hydrolysis by the four enzymes. The growth curves adjacent to the different mannan structures show the growth profile of B. thetaiotaomicron (black), B. ovatus (red) and B. xylanisolvens (blue) on the glycans (each point represents the mean growth of 3 separate cultures ± s.d.). The porcine-derived B. xylanisolvens strain shown here acquired MAN-PUL1 by lateral gene transfer (Extended Data Fig. 9), explaining its capacity to degrade processed mannans. Vertical error bars represent standard deviation of three separate replicates in each condition.

  6. Extended Data Figure 6: The activity of GH76 α-mannanases and GH125 α-mannosidases. (413 KB)

    a, b, BT3792 and BT3782, respectively, were incubated with α-1,6-mannotetraose at a concentration less double KM. Substrate depletion was measured using HPAEC and the rate (right of a and b) enabled kcat/KM to be determined. c, BT3792 and BT3782 were incubated with unbranched yeast mannan (derived from the S. cerevisiae mutant MNN2). The yeast mannan at 0.1% was incubated with the two GH76 α-1,6-mannanases for 1 h at 37 °C in 50 mM sodium phosphate buffer, pH 7.0. The limit products were analysed by TLC. α-1,6-Mannooligosaccharides are identified by their degree of polymerization (M1, mannose; M2, mannobiose; M3, mannotriose; M4, mannotetraose); IP, injection peak. d, e, BT2632 and BT3781 at 100 nM were incubated with 1 mg ml−1 of the debranched mannan for 1 h in the buffer described above. TLC analysis (d) and HPAEC traces (e) of the reactions are shown. The data in c and d are representative of two technical replicates.

  7. Extended Data Figure 7: HMNG deconstruction by B. thetaiotaomicron. (286 KB)

    a, Structure of the HMNG PUL. Genes drawn to scale with their orientation indicated. Genes encoding known or predicted functionalities are colour-coded and, where appropriate, are also annotated according to their CAZy glycoside hydrolase (GH) family number. SGBP represents a surface glycan binding protein. b, BT3994 was incubated with α-1,6-mannotetraose (Man4) or the high mannose N-glycan Man5GlcNAc2, with both oligosaccharides labelled with 2-aminobenzamide (AB). At the indicated time points aliquots were removed and analysed by HPAEC using a fluorescence detection system. While Man5GlcNac2-AB was hydrolysed by BT3994, the enzyme was not active against Man4-AB. c, Chicken ovalbumin was incubated with buffer (1) or 1 μM of BT3987 (2) in 20 mM Na-HEPES buffer, pH 7.5, for 5 h at 37 °C, and the soluble material was permethylated and analysed by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. The high mannose N-glycans released are labelled. d, Western blot of B. thetaiotaomicron cells cultured on yeast mannan that were untreated with proteinase K (0 h) or incubated with 2 mg ml−1 proteinase K for 16 h (16 h). The lane labelled RP contained a purified recombinant form of BT3990. The blots were probed with antibodies against BT3990. The data in d are representative of two biological replicates. e, f, Representative isothermal calorimetry titrations for BT3984 titrated with Gal-β1,4-GlcNAc (LacNAc; 25 mM) (e), and for BT3986 titrated with mannose (50 mM) (f). The top half of each panel shows the raw isothermal calorimetry titration heats; the bottom half, the integrated peak areas fitted using a single binding model by MicroCal Origin software. ITC was carried out in 50 mM Na-HEPES, pH 7.5 at 25 °C. The affinities and thermodynamic parameters of binding are shown in Supplementary Table 5. g, Growth profile of wild-type B. thetaiotaomicron (WT Bt; black) and the mutant Δbt3993 (red), which lacks the extra-cellular factor σ regulator gene of HMNG-PUL, cultured on Man8GlcNAc2 (each curve shows the mean ± s.d. of 3 separate cultures).

  8. Extended Data Figure 8: Metagenomic analysis of the occurrence of the yeast mannan PULs in humans. (520 KB)

    Abundance of Bacteroides mannan PULs in humans from a survey of metagenomic sequencing data from a total of 250 adult human samples (211 healthy, 27 ulcerative colitis, 12 Crohn’s disease; see Methods for references). Data sets were individually queried by BLAST using either each entire mannan PUL (PULs 2,3) or a sub-fragment that was trimmed to eliminate cross-detection of other species genomes beyond B. thetaiotaomicron and porcine B. xylanisolvens (PUL1; see Methods for additional search details). Each horizontal line represents the presence of a hit in a single individual. The leftmost column summarizes the total mannan PUL content in each person (annotated according to the colour key in the upper right corner). The mannan PUL frequency across all 250 samples is shown at the bottom for each condition and is compared to the frequency of several other PULs implicated in xyloglucan and porphyran utilization. Graph at far right illustrates the variation in sequencing depth for each sample/study; black lines show the average depth in megabase pairs (Mbp) for each study; the light grey line shows the depth for each individual sample.

  9. Extended Data Figure 9: Presence of a conjugative transposon (cTn) that contains MAN-PUL1 in the genomes of porcine B. xylanisolvens strains and the mannan presented to these organisms. (207 KB)

    a, Shown across the top is a schematic of a cTn that has been integrated into the 3′ end of a tRNAphe gene in B. thetaiotaomicron strain VPI-5482. Integration is mediated by a 22 bp direct repeat sequence that is contained in tRNAphe and repeated again at the other side of the cTn (right insertion site). The location of B. thetaiotaomicron MAN-PUL1 is denoted within the larger cTn element using a colour scheme identical to Fig. 1a. The lower panel shows an expanded view of the MAN-PUL1 locus in five sequenced strains of B. xylanisolvens from the faeces of pigs fed a diet enriched with distillers grains that were fermented with yeast. A nearly identical copy (both by amino acid homology and syntenic organization) of this genomic region is present in B. thetaiotaomicron and the porcine B. xylanisolvens strains. Although the draft genomes of the B. xylanisolvens strains contains gaps in all five assemblies at the left side of the MAN-PUL1, the right side insertion site was resolved in all genomes, suggesting that the B. xylanisolvens loci were also transferred by lateral transfer at some point in the history of these strains. b, Forty-three different strains from five Bacteroidetes isolated from animal guts (each indicated with a solid circle) were inoculated into minimal media containing S. cerevisiae mannan as the sole carbon source. The growth of the cultures was measured over 48 h by recording the optical density at 600 nm. c, TLC analysis of the products generated by incubating BT3774 and BT3792 with α-mannan extracted from the distillers grain fed to the pigs from which the B. xylanisolvens were isolated. The data are representative of two technical replicates.

  10. Extended Data Figure 10: In vivo and in vitro expression of the mannan PULs. (227 KB)

    a, Level of susC-like transcripts derived from MAN-PUL1 (BT2626), MAN-PUL2 (BT3788) and MAN-PUL3 (BT3854) from B. thetaiotaomicron in monocolonized gnotobiotic mice fed a glycan-free diet deficient in B. thetaiotaomicron-digestible glycans (red), the same diet with added yeast mannan (1% w/v in drinking water) as the only usable polysaccharide (green), and a diet containing 50% bread (blue). The levels of the susC transcripts were quantified relative to the same mRNA species in B. thetaiotaomicron cultured in vitro on glucose minimal medium (MM-G). Note that in all cases, expression of MAN-PUL genes is equally high in vivo. b, Transcription of the same mannan susC-like genes in response to increasing concentrations of yeast mannan in the media after 30 min exposure. The prototypic susC (BT3701) involved in starch metabolism is shown for comparison. c, An identical exposure experiment to that shown in b, except that glucose-grown B. thetaiotaomicron cells were exposed to aqueous extracts of the cereal grain diet (natural diet) fed to mice before the experiment, or the digestible glycan-free control diet (glycan-free diet) used as a base for all feeding treatments. Exposure was conducted for 30 min to determine if any diet extract contained contaminating levels of mannan that could be detected by B. thetaiotaomicron cells; inclusion of purified mannan (5 mg ml−1) in addition to the glycan-free diet served as positive controls. In all panels, the results represent the mean of 3 biological replicates and error bars represent s.d.

Supplementary information

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    This file contains Supplementary Text, Supplementary References and Supplementary Tables 1-6.

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