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Science DOI:10.1126/science.aaq0926

Gut microbiota utilize immunoglobulin A for mucosal colonization.

Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsDonaldson, GP, Ladinsky, MS, Yu, KB, Sanders, JG, Yoo, BB, Chou, W-C, Conner, ME, Earl, AM, Knight, R, Bjorkman, PJ, Mazmanian, SK
Date Published2018 05 18
KeywordsAnimals, Bacterial Adhesion, Bacterial Proteins, Bacteroides fragilis, Cells, Cultured, Gastrointestinal Microbiome, Humans, Immunoglobulin A, Intestinal Mucosa, Mice, Polysaccharides, Bacterial, Symbiosis

The immune system responds vigorously to microbial infection while permitting lifelong colonization by the microbiome. Mechanisms that facilitate the establishment and stability of the gut microbiota remain poorly described. We found that a regulatory system in the prominent human commensal modulates its surface architecture to invite binding of immunoglobulin A (IgA) in mice. Specific immune recognition facilitated bacterial adherence to cultured intestinal epithelial cells and intimate association with the gut mucosal surface in vivo. The IgA response was required for (and other commensal species) to occupy a defined mucosal niche that mediates stable colonization of the gut through exclusion of exogenous competitors. Therefore, in addition to its role in pathogen clearance, we propose that IgA responses can be co-opted by the microbiome to engender robust host-microbial symbiosis.


Alternate JournalScience
PubMed ID29724905
PubMed Central IDPMC5973787
Grant ListP50 GM082545 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
T32 GM007616 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
R01 AI041231 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States
R01 GM099535 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
R01 AI041239 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States
P30 DK056338 / DK / NIDDK NIH HHS / United States
R21 DK083633 / DK / NIDDK NIH HHS / United States
U19 AI110818 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States
R01 DK078938 / DK / NIDDK NIH HHS / United States