Researchers Discover a Unique Enzyme That May Contribute to IBD

Researchers Discover a Unique Enzyme That May Contribute to IBD
Recently, researchers from the Institute of Food Research (IFR) released results from a study in which they discovered a previously unknown enzymatic activity of gut bacteria that could contribute to intestinal health and play a role in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The study entitled, “Discovery of intramolecular trans-sialidases in human gut microbiota suggests novel mechanisms of mucosal adaptation,” was published in the latest edition of Nature Communications.

Background Terminology:

  • Enzymes: biological molecules (proteins) that act as catalysts and help complex reactions occur everywhere in life.
  • Human microbiome: a mixture of microorganisms, that resides on the surface and in deep layers of skin (including in mammary glands), in the saliva and oral mucosa, in the conjunctiva, and in the gastrointestinal tracts. They include bacteria, fungi, and archaea.
  • Biomarkers: short for biological markers, are the measures used to perform a clinical assessment- examples include blood pressure or cholesterol level, that are used to monitor and predict patient’s health status

Inflammatory bowel disease

IBD is a debilitating disease caused by chronic inflammation throughout all or part of a patient’s dig
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