Model-driven design of a minimal medium for Akkermansia muciniphila confirms mucus adaptation

Kees C.H. van der Ark, Steven Aalvink, Maria Suarez-Diez, Peter J. Schaap, Willem M. de Vos, Clara Belzer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The abundance of the human intestinal symbiont Akkermansia muciniphila has found to be inversely correlated with several diseases, including metabolic syndrome and obesity. A. muciniphila is known to use mucin as sole carbon and nitrogen source. To study the physiology and the potential for therapeutic applications of this bacterium, we designed a defined minimal medium. The composition of the medium was based on the genome-scale metabolic model of A. muciniphila and the composition of mucin. Our results indicate that A. muciniphila does not code for GlmS, the enzyme that mediates the conversion of fructose-6-phosphate (Fru6P) to glucosamine-6-phosphate (GlcN6P), which is essential in peptidoglycan formation. The only annotated enzyme that could mediate this conversion is Amuc-NagB on locus Amuc_1822. We found that Amuc-NagB was unable to form GlcN6P from Fru6P at physiological conditions, while it efficiently catalyzed the reverse reaction. To overcome this inability, N-acetylglucosamine needs to be present in the medium for A. muciniphila growth. With these findings, the genome-scale metabolic model was updated and used to accurately predict growth of A. muciniphila on synthetic media. The finding that A. muciniphila has a necessity for GlcNAc, which is present in mucin further prompts the adaptation to its mucosal niche.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)476-485
JournalMicrobial Biotechnology
Volume11
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018

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