Interaction of Microbes with Mucus and Mucins: Recent Developments.
Document Type Article
Gut Microbes. 2013 Oct 2;5(1). [Epub ahead of print]
Due to the recent rapid expansion in our understanding of the composition of the gut microflora and the consequences of altering that composition the question of how bacteria colonise mucus layers and interact with components of mucus, such as mucin, is now receiving widespread attention. Using a combination of mucus secreting cells, and a novel mucin microarray platform containing purified native mucins from different sources we recently demonstrated that two gastrointestinal pathogens, Helicobacter pylori and Campylobacter jejuni, colonise mucus by different mechanisms. This result emphasizes the potential for even closely related bacteria to interact with mucus in divergent ways to establish successful infection. Expanding the use of the mucin arrays described in the study to other microorganisms, both pathogenic and commensal, should lead to the discovery of biologically important motifs in bacterial-host interactions and complement the use of novel in vitro cell models, such as mucus secreting cell lines.