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ACE2 links amino acid malnutrition to microbial ecology and intestinal inflammation


Abstract

Malnutrition affects up to one billion people in the world and is a major cause of mortality. In many cases, malnutrition is associated with diarrhoea and intestinal inflammation, further contributing to morbidity and death. The mechanisms by which unbalanced dietary nutrients affect intestinal homeostasis are largely unknown. Here we report that deficiency in murine angiotensin I converting enzyme (peptidyl-dipeptidase A) 2 (Ace2), which encodes a key regulatory enzyme of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), results in highly increased susceptibility to intestinal inflammation induced by epithelial damage. The RAS is known to be involved in acute lung failure, cardiovascular functions and SARS infections. Mechanistically, ACE2 has a RAS-independent function, regulating intestinal amino acid homeostasis, expression of antimicrobial peptides, and the ecology of the gut microbiome. Transplantation of the altered microbiota from Ace2 mutant mice into germ-free wild-type hosts was able to transmit the increased propensity to develop severe colitis. ACE2-dependent changes in epithelial immunity and the gut microbiota can be directly regulated by the dietary amino acid tryptophan. Our results identify ACE2 as a key regulator of dietary amino acid homeostasis, innate immunity, gut microbial ecology, and transmissible susceptibility to colitis. These results provide a molecular explanation for how amino acid malnutrition can cause intestinal inflammation and diarrhoea.

Abstract

Malnutrition affects up to one billion people in the world and is a major cause of mortality. In many cases, malnutrition is associated with diarrhoea and intestinal inflammation, further contributing to morbidity and death. The mechanisms by which unbalanced dietary nutrients affect intestinal homeostasis are largely unknown. Here we report that deficiency in murine angiotensin I converting enzyme (peptidyl-dipeptidase A) 2 (Ace2), which encodes a key regulatory enzyme of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), results in highly increased susceptibility to intestinal inflammation induced by epithelial damage. The RAS is known to be involved in acute lung failure, cardiovascular functions and SARS infections. Mechanistically, ACE2 has a RAS-independent function, regulating intestinal amino acid homeostasis, expression of antimicrobial peptides, and the ecology of the gut microbiome. Transplantation of the altered microbiota from Ace2 mutant mice into germ-free wild-type hosts was able to transmit the increased propensity to develop severe colitis. ACE2-dependent changes in epithelial immunity and the gut microbiota can be directly regulated by the dietary amino acid tryptophan. Our results identify ACE2 as a key regulator of dietary amino acid homeostasis, innate immunity, gut microbial ecology, and transmissible susceptibility to colitis. These results provide a molecular explanation for how amino acid malnutrition can cause intestinal inflammation and diarrhoea.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Physiology
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Physiology

04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:24 Jan 2013 13:47
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:02
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:0028-0836
Additional Information:This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Nature following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version ACE2 links amino acid malnutrition to microbial ecology and intestinal inflammation is available online at: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v487/n7408/full/nature11228.html
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/nature11228
PubMed ID:22837003

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