L-Fucose is involved in human–gut microbiome interactions

Jungyeon Kim, Yong Su Jin, Kyoung Heon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review


Abstract: L-Fucose is one of the key metabolites in human–gut microbiome interactions. It is continuously synthesized by humans in the form of fucosylated glycans and fucosyl-oligosaccharides and delivered into the gut throughout their lifetime. Gut microorganisms metabolize L-fucose and produce short-chain fatty acids, which are absorbed by epithelial cells and used as energy sources or signaling molecules. Recent studies have revealed that the carbon flux in L-fucose metabolism by gut microorganisms is distinct from that in other sugar metabolisms because of cofactor imbalance and low efficiencies in energy synthesis of L-fucose metabolism. The large amounts of short-chain fatty acids produced during microbial L-fucose metabolism are used by epithelial cells to recover most of the energy used up during L-fucose synthesis. In this review, we present a detailed overview of microbial L-fucose metabolism and a potential solution for disease treatment and prevention using genetically engineered probiotics that modulate fucose metabolism. Our review contributes to the understanding of human–gut microbiome interactions through L-fucose metabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3869-3875
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • Epithelial cells
  • Gut microbiome
  • L-Fucose
  • Short-chain fatty acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Biotechnology


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