Transkingdom interactions between Lactobacilli and hepatic mitochondria attenuate western diet-induced diabetes

Richard R. Rodrigues, Manoj Gurung, Zhipeng Li, Manuel García-Jaramillo, Renee Greer, Christopher Gaulke, Franziska Bauchinger, Hyekyoung You, Jacob W. Pederson, Stephany Vasquez-Perez, Kimberly D. White, Briana Frink, Benjamin Philmus, Donald B. Jump, Giorgio Trinchieri, David Berry, Thomas J. Sharpton, Amiran Dzutsev, Andrey Morgun, Natalia Shulzhenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Western diet (WD) is one of the major culprits of metabolic disease including type 2 diabetes (T2D) with gut microbiota playing an important role in modulating effects of the diet. Herein, we use a data-driven approach (Transkingdom Network analysis) to model host-microbiome interactions under WD to infer which members of microbiota contribute to the altered host metabolism. Interrogation of this network pointed to taxa with potential beneficial or harmful effects on host’s metabolism. We then validate the functional role of the predicted bacteria in regulating metabolism and show that they act via different host pathways. Our gene expression and electron microscopy studies show that two species from Lactobacillus genus act upon mitochondria in the liver leading to the improvement of lipid metabolism. Metabolomics analyses revealed that reduced glutathione may mediate these effects. Our study identifies potential probiotic strains for T2D and provides important insights into mechanisms of their action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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