Fuhrmann Fonden - Regulation of Muc2 gene by low carbohydrate diet

  • Belcheva, Antoaneta (Head coordinator)

Project: Research

Project Details


Bevilling givet til Nanna Bau-Madsen som har Antoaneta Belcheva som vejleder.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is initiated by factors such as genetic mutations, altered immune system, the gut microbiota and diet. However, our knowledge of how these factors interact with each another to elicit disease is still very limited. It has been shown that altering the gut microbiota by low carbohydrate (LC) diet significantly reduces CRC development (1). These results suggest, that dietary manipulations of the gut microbiota can be used as a preventive measure for people at CRC risk. However, while such manipulations can attenuate the process of carcinogenesis, it is unknown what are their long-term physiological effects on the normal colon epithelium. During my bachelor project I found that LC diet induces significant increase in Mucin 2 (Muc2) expression at both mRNA and protein levels. Interestingly, while Muc2 expression was significantly elevated the population of Goblet cells that produce Muc2, curiously remained unchanged. The observed overexpression of Muc2 is curious because the protein is a major part of the mucosal barrier. Muc2 is a big glycosylated protein that forms oligomers and is the main constituent of an inner (firm) mucus layer that is devoted by bacteria and outer (loose) layer that is populated by some members of the gut microbiota. Therefore, further research about the mechanism through which LC diet affects Muc2 gene expression is essential for elucidating the full effects of this diet on the normal colonic homeostasis.
Effective start/end date01/11/201831/12/2019