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Bork GroupPublications

Genomic variation landscape of the human gut microbiome.
Schloissnig, S., Arumugam, M., Sunagawa, S., Mitreva, M., Tap, J., Zhu, A., Waller, A., Mende, D.R., Kultima, J.R., Martin, J., Kota, K., Sunyaev, S.R., Weinstock, G.M. & Bork, P.
Nature. 2013 Jan 3;493(7430):45-50. doi: 10.1038/nature11711. Epub 2012 Dec 5.
Whereas large-scale efforts have rapidly advanced the understanding and practical impact of human genomic variation, the practical impact of variation is largely unexplored in the human microbiome. We therefore developed a framework for metagenomic variation analysis and applied it to 252 faecal metagenomes of 207 individuals from Europe and North America. Using 7.4 billion reads aligned to 101 reference species, we detected 10.3 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), 107,991 short insertions/deletions, and 1,051 structural variants. The average ratio of non-synonymous to synonymous polymorphism rates of 0.11 was more variable between gut microbial species than across human hosts. Subjects sampled at varying time intervals exhibited individuality and temporal stability of SNP variation patterns, despite considerable composition changes of their gut microbiota. This indicates that individual-specific strains are not easily replaced and that an individual might have a unique metagenomic genotype, which may be exploitable for personalized diet or drug intake.
Europe PMC

Deciphering a global network of functionally associated post-translational modifications.
Minguez, P., Parca, L., Diella, F., Mende, D.R., Kumar, R., Helmer-Citterich, M., Gavin, A.C., van Noort, V. & Bork, P.
Mol Syst Biol. 2012 Jul 17;8:599. doi: 10.1038/msb.2012.31.
Various post-translational modifications (PTMs) fine-tune the functions of almost all eukaryotic proteins, and co-regulation of different types of PTMs has been shown within and between a number of proteins. Aiming at a more global view of the interplay between PTM types, we collected modifications for 13 frequent PTM types in 8 eukaryotes, compared their speed of evolution and developed a method for measuring PTM co-evolution within proteins based on the co-occurrence of sites across eukaryotes. As many sites are still to be discovered, this is a considerable underestimate, yet, assuming that most co-evolving PTMs are functionally associated, we found that PTM types are vastly interconnected, forming a global network that comprise in human alone >50 000 residues in about 6000 proteins. We predict substantial PTM type interplay in secreted and membrane-associated proteins and in the context of particular protein domains and short-linear motifs. The global network of co-evolving PTM types implies a complex and intertwined post-translational regulation landscape that is likely to regulate multiple functional states of many if not all eukaryotic proteins.
Europe PMC

Enterotypes of the human gut microbiome.
Arumugam, M., Raes, J., Pelletier, E., Le Paslier, D., Yamada, T., Mende, D.R., Fernandes, G.R., Tap, J., Bruls, T., Batto, J.M., Bertalan, M., Borruel, N., Casellas, F., Fernandez, L., Gautier, L., Hansen, T., Hattori, M., Hayashi, T., Kleerebezem, M., Kurokawa, K., Leclerc, M., Levenez, F., Manichanh, C., Nielsen, H.B., Nielsen, T., Pons, N., Poulain, J., Qin, J., Sicheritz-Ponten, T., Tims, S., Torrents, D., Ugarte, E., Zoetendal, E.G., Wang, J., Guarner, F., Pedersen, O., de Vos, W.M., Brunak, S., Dore, J., Antolin, M., Artiguenave, F., Blottiere, H.M., Almeida, M., Brechot, C., Cara, C., Chervaux, C., Cultrone, A., Delorme, C., Denariaz, G., Dervyn, R., Foerstner, K.U., Friss, C., van de Guchte, M., Guedon, E., Haimet, F., Huber, W., van Hylckama-Vlieg, J., Jamet, A., Juste, C., Kaci, G., Knol, J., Lakhdari, O., Layec, S., Le Roux, K., Maguin, E., Merieux, A., Melo Minardi, R., M'rini, C., Muller, J., Oozeer, R., Parkhill, J., Renault, P., Rescigno, M., Sanchez, N., Sunagawa, S., Torrejon, A., Turner, K., Vandemeulebrouck, G., Varela, E., Winogradsky, Y., Zeller, G., Weissenbach, J., Ehrlich, S.D. & Bork, P.
Nature. 2011 May 12;473(7346):174-80. Epub 2011 Apr 20.
Our knowledge of species and functional composition of the human gut microbiome is rapidly increasing, but it is still based on very few cohorts and little is known about variation across the world. By combining 22 newly sequenced faecal metagenomes of individuals from four countries with previously published data sets, here we identify three robust clusters (referred to as enterotypes hereafter) that are not nation or continent specific. We also confirmed the enterotypes in two published, larger cohorts, indicating that intestinal microbiota variation is generally stratified, not continuous. This indicates further the existence of a limited number of well-balanced host-microbial symbiotic states that might respond differently to diet and drug intake. The enterotypes are mostly driven by species composition, but abundant molecular functions are not necessarily provided by abundant species, highlighting the importance of a functional analysis to understand microbial communities. Although individual host properties such as body mass index, age, or gender cannot explain the observed enterotypes, data-driven marker genes or functional modules can be identified for each of these host properties. For example, twelve genes significantly correlate with age and three functional modules with the body mass index, hinting at a diagnostic potential of microbial markers.
Europe PMC

A human gut microbial gene catalogue established by metagenomic sequencing.
Qin, J., Li, R., Raes, J., Arumugam, M., Burgdorf, K.S., Manichanh, C., Nielsen, T., Pons, N., Levenez, F., Yamada, T., Mende, D.R., Li, J., Xu, J., Li, S., Li, D., Cao, J., Wang, B., Liang, H., Zheng, H., Xie, Y., Tap, J., Lepage, P., Bertalan, M., Batto, J.M., Hansen, T., Le Paslier, D., Linneberg, A., Nielsen, H.B., Pelletier, E., Renault, P., Sicheritz-Ponten, T., Turner, K., Zhu, H., Yu, C., Li, S., Jian, M., Zhou, Y., Li, Y., Zhang, X., Li, S., Qin, N., Yang, H., Wang, J., Brunak, S., Dore, J., Guarner, F., Kristiansen, K., Pedersen, O., Parkhill, J., Weissenbach, J., Bork, P., Ehrlich, S.D. & Wang, J.
Nature. 2010 Mar 4;464(7285):59-65.
To understand the impact of gut microbes on human health and well-being it is crucial to assess their genetic potential. Here we describe the Illumina-based metagenomic sequencing, assembly and characterization of 3.3 million non-redundant microbial genes, derived from 576.7 gigabases of sequence, from faecal samples of 124 European individuals. The gene set, approximately 150 times larger than the human gene complement, contains an overwhelming majority of the prevalent (more frequent) microbial genes of the cohort and probably includes a large proportion of the prevalent human intestinal microbial genes. The genes are largely shared among individuals of the cohort. Over 99% of the genes are bacterial, indicating that the entire cohort harbours between 1,000 and 1,150 prevalent bacterial species and each individual at least 160 such species, which are also largely shared. We define and describe the minimal gut metagenome and the minimal gut bacterial genome in terms of functions present in all individuals and most bacteria, respectively.
Europe PMC