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Function and Phylogeny of Bacterial Butyryl Coenzyme A:Acetate Transferases and Their Diversity in the Proximal Colon of Swine

Julian Trachsel, Darrell O. Bayles, Torey Looft, Uri Y. Levine, Heather K. Allen
Applied and environmental microbiology 2016 v.82 no.22 pp. 6788-6798
CoA-transferases, DNA, RNA, bacteria, bacterial communities, butyrates, colon, ecosystems, enzyme activity, genes, homeostasis, intestinal microorganisms, phylogeny, swine
Studying the host-associated butyrate-producing bacterial community is important because butyrate is essential for colonic homeostasis and gut health. Previous research has identified the butyryl-coA:acetate transferase ( as a the main gene for butyrate production in intestinal ecosystems; however, this gene family (but) remains poorly defined. To develop analysis tools for this community, twelve putative but genes were identified in the genomes of nine butyrate-producing bacteria from the swine intestinal tract. Functional analyses revealed that eight of these genes had strong But enzyme activity. When but paralogues were found within a genome, only one paralogue per genome encoded strong activity, with the exception of one strain in which no highly active But protein was identified. Degenerate primers were designed to the functional but genes and tested by amplifying environmental but sequences from DNA and RNA extracted from swine colonic contents. The results show diverse but sequences from swine-associated butyrate-producing bacteria, most of which clustered near functionally confirmed sequences. This work will improve future studies of the butyrate-producing community and inform its relationship to host health and disease.