Probiotics, Prebiotics, Synbiotics, Postbiotics and Paraprobiotics—New Perspective for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Nutraceuticals, Functional Foods, and Novel Foods".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 October 2022) | Viewed by 51878

Special Issue Editors

Microbiology of the Ministry of Education & Tianjin Key Lab of Industrial Microbiology, College of Biotechnology, Tianjin University of Science and Technology, Tianjin 300457, China
Interests: probiotics; prebiotics; synbiotics; postbiotics; paraprobiotics; gut microbiota
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Microbiology of the Ministry of Education & Tianjin Key Lab of Industrial Microbiology, College of Biotechnology, Tianjin University of Science and Technology, Tianjin 300457, China
Interests: enzyme engineering; prebiotics; functional carbohydrates; probiotics; agricultural products
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, more and more studies have revealed the beneficial roles of probiotics and related prebiotics, synbiotics, postbiotics and paraprobiotics in the regulation of gut microbiota and host health. Therefore, their application in food, medicine and other functional products have received increasing attention. However, there are still many aspects of these probiotic-related factors that have not been fully elucidated, such as the detailed molecular mechanisms and key active ingredients in the health regulation functions, the effects on the absorption and metabolism of drug and food substances, the roles in the preparation of many fermented foods, the different tolerances to temperature, pH and other environmental factors, and improvement strategies, etc. The main purpose of this Special Issue is to recruit outstanding scientific researchers to provide high-quality manuscripts around these related fields to jointly discuss the health effects, mechanisms and product development of probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics, postbiotics, paraprobiotics and other related factors.

Prof. Dr. Xuegang Luo
Dr. Zhongyuan Li
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • probiotics
  • prebiotics 
  • synbiotics 
  • postbiotics 
  • paraprobiotics 
  • functional foods 
  • gut microbiota regulation

Published Papers (20 papers)

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14 pages, 1563 KiB  
Article
In Vitro Assessment of the Prebiotic Potential of Xylooligosaccharides from Barley Straw
Foods 2023, 12(1), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12010083 - 23 Dec 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1355
Abstract
Barley straw was subjected to hydrothermal pretreatment (steam explosion) processing to evaluate its potential as a raw material to produce xylooligosaccharides (XOS) suitable for use as a prebiotic. The steam explosion pretreatment generated a liquid fraction containing solubilised hemicellulose. This fraction was purified [...] Read more.
Barley straw was subjected to hydrothermal pretreatment (steam explosion) processing to evaluate its potential as a raw material to produce xylooligosaccharides (XOS) suitable for use as a prebiotic. The steam explosion pretreatment generated a liquid fraction containing solubilised hemicellulose. This fraction was purified using gel permeation chromatography to obtain a fraction rich in XOS DP2-DP6. The sample was characterised through analytical techniques such as HPAEC-PAD, FTIR and MALDI-TOF-MS. The prebiotic activity was evaluated using in vitro fermentation in human faecal cultures through the quantification of short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) and lactate production, the evolution of the pH and the consumption of carbon sources. The total SCFA production at the end of fermentation (30 h) was 90.1 mM. Positive significant differences between the amount of XOS from barley straw and fructooligosaccharides after incubation were observed. Full article
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19 pages, 4321 KiB  
Article
Comparative Genomics Analysis Provides New Insights into High Ethanol Tolerance of Lactiplantibacillus pentosus LTJ12, a Novel Strain Isolated from Chinese Baijiu
Foods 2023, 12(1), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12010035 - 22 Dec 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1478
Abstract
Lactic acid bacteria have received a significant amount of attention due to their probiotic characteristics. The species Lactiplantibacillus plantarum and Lactiplantibacillus pentosus are genotypically closely related, and their phenotypes are so similar that they are easily confused and mistaken. In the previous study, [...] Read more.
Lactic acid bacteria have received a significant amount of attention due to their probiotic characteristics. The species Lactiplantibacillus plantarum and Lactiplantibacillus pentosus are genotypically closely related, and their phenotypes are so similar that they are easily confused and mistaken. In the previous study, an ethanol-resistant strain, LTJ12, isolated from the fermented grains of soy sauce aroma type baijiu in North China, was originally identified as L. plantarum through a 16S rRNA sequence analysis. Here, the genome of strain LTJ12 was further sequenced using PacBio and Illumina sequencing technology to obtain a better understanding of the metabolic pathway underlying its resistance to ethanol stress. The results showed that the genome of strain LTJ12 was composed of one circular chromosome and three circular plasmids. The genome size is 3,512,307 bp with a GC content of 46.37%, and the number of predicted coding genes is 3248. Moreover, by comparing the coding genes with the GO (Gene Ontology), COG (Cluster of Orthologous Groups) and KEGG (Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes) databases, the functional annotation of the genome and an assessment of the metabolic pathways were performed, with the results showing that strain LTJ12 has multiple genes that may be related to alcohol metabolism and probiotic-related genes. Antibiotic resistance gene analysis showed that there were few potential safety hazards. Further, after conducting the comparative genomics analysis, it was found that strain LTJ12 is L. pentosus but not L. plantarum, but it has more functional genes than other L. pentosus strains that are mainly related to carbohydrate transport and metabolism, transcription, replication, recombination and repair, signal transduction mechanisms, defense mechanisms and cell wall/membrane/envelope biogenesis. These unique functional genes, such as gene 2754 (encodes alcohol dehydrogenase), gene 3093 (encodes gamma-D-glutamyl-meso-diaminopimelate peptidase) and some others may enhance the ethanol tolerance and alcohol metabolism of the strain. Taken together, L. pentosus LTJ12 might be a potentially safe probiotic with a high ethanol tolerance and alcohol metabolism. The findings of this study will also shed light on the accurate identification and rational application of the Lactiplantibacillus species. Full article
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24 pages, 5269 KiB  
Article
Lactiplantibacillus plantarum LOC1 Isolated from Fresh Tea Leaves Modulates Macrophage Response to TLR4 Activation
Foods 2022, 11(20), 3257; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11203257 - 18 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1751
Abstract
Previously, we demonstrated that Lactiplantibacillus plantarum LOC1, originally isolated from fresh tea leaves, was able to improve epithelial barrier integrity in in vitro models, suggesting that this strain is an interesting probiotic candidate. In this work, we aimed to continue characterizing the potential [...] Read more.
Previously, we demonstrated that Lactiplantibacillus plantarum LOC1, originally isolated from fresh tea leaves, was able to improve epithelial barrier integrity in in vitro models, suggesting that this strain is an interesting probiotic candidate. In this work, we aimed to continue characterizing the potential probiotic properties of the LOC1 strain, focusing on its immunomodulatory properties in the context of innate immunity triggered by Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) activation. These studies were complemented by comparative and functional genomics analysis to characterize the bacterial genes involved in the immunomodulatory capacity. We carried out a transcriptomic study to evaluate the effect of L. plantarum LOC1 on the response of murine macrophages (RAW264.7 cells) to the activation of TLR4. We demonstrated that L. plantarum LOC1 exerts a modulatory effect on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammation, resulting in a differential regulation of immune factor expression in macrophages. The LOC1 strain markedly reduced the LPS-induced expression of some inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-12, and CSF2) and chemokines (CCL17, CCL28, CXCL3, CXCL13, CXCL1, and CX3CL1), while it significantly increased the expression of other cytokines (TNF-α, IL-6, IL-18, IFN-β, IFN-γ, and CSF3), chemokines (IL-15 and CXCL9), and activation markers (H2-k1, H2-M3, CD80, and CD86) in RAW macrophages. Our results show that L. plantarum LOC1 would enhance the intrinsic functions of macrophages, promoting their protective effects mediated by the stimulation of the Th1 response without affecting the regulatory mechanisms that help control inflammation. In addition, we sequenced the LOC1 genome and performed a genomic characterization. Genomic comparative analysis with the well-known immunomodulatory strains WCSF1 and CRL1506 demonstrated that L. plantarum LOC1 possess a set of adhesion factors and genes involved in the biosynthesis of teichoic acids and lipoproteins that could be involved in its immunomodulatory capacity. The results of this work can contribute to the development of immune-related functional foods containing L. plantarum LOC1. Full article
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14 pages, 3741 KiB  
Article
Simultaneous Improvement of Final Product-Tolerance and Thermostability of GH39 Xylosidase for Prebiotic Production by Directed Evolution
Foods 2022, 11(19), 3039; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11193039 - 30 Sep 2022
Viewed by 1125
Abstract
Xylosidases are widely used for the production of prebiotics and the transformation of natural active substances in the food industry. However, xylosidases with excellent thermostability and product tolerance are required for industrial applications. In this study, the thermostability and final-product tolerance of the [...] Read more.
Xylosidases are widely used for the production of prebiotics and the transformation of natural active substances in the food industry. However, xylosidases with excellent thermostability and product tolerance are required for industrial applications. In this study, the thermostability and final-product tolerance of the previously reported robust xylosidase Xyl21 were further improved via directed evolution. The triple mutant variant Xyl21-A16 (K16R, L94I, and K262N) showed significantly enhanced xylose tolerance, ethanol tolerance, and thermostability with no apparent changes in the specific activity, optimum pH, and temperature compared with the wild type. Single site mutations suggested that variant Xyl21-A16 is the cumulative result of three mutated sites, which indicated that K16 and L94 play important roles in enzyme characteristics. Moreover, a comparison of the predicted protein structures of Xyl21 and its variant indicated that additional molecular interactions formed by K16R and K262N might directly improve the rigidity of the protein structure, therefore contributing to the increased thermostability and product tolerance. The variant Xyl21-A16 developed in this study has great application potential in the production of prebiotics, and also provides a useful reference for the future engineering of other xylosidases. Full article
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13 pages, 1349 KiB  
Article
Metabolomic Characteristics of Liver and Cecum Contents in High-Fat-Diet-Induced Obese Mice Intervened with Lactobacillus plantarum FRT10
Foods 2022, 11(16), 2491; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11162491 - 18 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1836
Abstract
Obesity has become a major social problem related to health and quality of life. Our previous work demonstrated that Lactobacillus plantarum FRT10 alleviated obesity in high-fat diet (HFD)-fed mice by alleviating gut dysbiosis. However, the underlying functions of FRT10 in regulating liver and [...] Read more.
Obesity has become a major social problem related to health and quality of life. Our previous work demonstrated that Lactobacillus plantarum FRT10 alleviated obesity in high-fat diet (HFD)-fed mice by alleviating gut dysbiosis. However, the underlying functions of FRT10 in regulating liver and cecum contents metabolism remain unknown. Liver and cecum contents metabonomics combined with pathway analysis based on ultraperformance liquid chromatography-quadrupole-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UHPLC-Q-TOF/MS) were performed to evaluate the alterations of metabolic profiles between obese control mice and obese mice in FRT10-treated groups. The orthogonal partial least squares discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) score plots showed that there were significant differences in cecum contents and liver markers between experimental groups. In total, 26 potential biomarkers were identified in the liver and 15 in cecum contents that could explain the effect of FRT10 addition in HFD-fed mice. In addition, gut–liver axis analysis indicated that there was a strong correlation between cecum contents metabolites and hepatic metabolites. The mechanism of FRT10 against obesity might be related to the alterations in glycerophospholipid metabolism, primary bile acid biosynthesis, amino metabolism, and purine and pyrimidine metabolism. Studies on these metabolites could help us better understand the role of FRT10 in obesity induced by HFD. Full article
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9 pages, 1930 KiB  
Communication
Exploratory Study for Probiotic Enrichment of a Sea Fennel (Crithmum maritimum L.) Preserve in Brine
Foods 2022, 11(15), 2219; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11152219 - 26 Jul 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1194
Abstract
Considering the increasing consumer demand for vegan and vegetarian health foods, different vegetables have been already exploited to produce non-dairy probiotic foods. In addition to being rich in bioactive compounds, sea fennel (Crithmum maritimum L.), also known as rock samphire, represents a [...] Read more.
Considering the increasing consumer demand for vegan and vegetarian health foods, different vegetables have been already exploited to produce non-dairy probiotic foods. In addition to being rich in bioactive compounds, sea fennel (Crithmum maritimum L.), also known as rock samphire, represents a valuable candidate in the production of probiotic-enriched foods, and, to the authors’ knowledge, it has not yet been explored as carrier for probiotics. Hence, the present study was aimed at evaluating the survival of a commercially available probiotic formulation, SYNBIO®, and Lactiplantibacillus plantarum IMC 509 in an artificially acidified, pasteurized sea fennel preserve in brine during a refrigerated storage of 44 days. Despite slight reductions in the microbial loads, at the end of the storage, both the probiotic formulations showed loads higher than 7.0 Log CFU g−1 of sea fennel or mL−1 of brine, above the recommended administration dose to exert beneficial health effects. Thus, acidified sea fennel sprouts in brine represent a potential vehicle for probiotics delivery to humans. Full article
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13 pages, 2204 KiB  
Article
Biochemical and Molecular Characteristics of a Novel Hyaluronic Acid Lyase from Citrobacter freundii
Foods 2022, 11(13), 1989; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11131989 - 05 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1785
Abstract
The Gram-negative strain of Citrobacter freundii, YNLX, has the ability to degrade hyaluronic acid. In this study, we expressed a C. freundii hyaluronic acid lyase, from polysaccharide lyase family 8, in Escherichia coli. The purified recombinant enzyme (rHynACF8) showed a substantially higher [...] Read more.
The Gram-negative strain of Citrobacter freundii, YNLX, has the ability to degrade hyaluronic acid. In this study, we expressed a C. freundii hyaluronic acid lyase, from polysaccharide lyase family 8, in Escherichia coli. The purified recombinant enzyme (rHynACF8) showed a substantially higher cleavage activity of hyaluronic acid than chondroitin sulfate. We found that its optimal pH and temperature are 5.5 and 35 °C, respectively. In addition, the enzyme activity was not notably affected by most metal ions. Km and kcat of rHynACF8 towards HA were 1.5 ± 0.01 mg/mL and 30.9 ± 0.5 /s, respectively. rHynACF8 is an endo-acting enzyme. Its cleavage products had dramatically increased antioxidant activity than hyaluronic acid in vitro (p < 0.001). As the molecular weight of hyaluronic acid decreased, the intramolecular interactions among antioxidant functional groups were removed; in the process of the cracking reaction, new double bonds formed and conjugated with the carbonyl group. We presumed that the structural change is the critical factor influencing antioxidant capacity. Overall, we found that rHynACF8 from Gram-negative bacteria with metal ion resistance, indicated the relationship between the function and structure of its antioxidant cleavage product. Full article
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14 pages, 1758 KiB  
Article
Bacterial Diversity and Lactic Acid Bacteria with High Alcohol Tolerance in the Fermented Grains of Soy Sauce Aroma Type Baijiu in North China
Foods 2022, 11(12), 1794; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11121794 - 17 Jun 2022
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2199
Abstract
Soy sauce aroma type baijiu (also known as Maotai-flavor baijiu) is one of the most popular types of baijiu in China. Traditionally, it is mainly produced in Southwest China. However, in recent decades, some other regions in China have also been able to [...] Read more.
Soy sauce aroma type baijiu (also known as Maotai-flavor baijiu) is one of the most popular types of baijiu in China. Traditionally, it is mainly produced in Southwest China. However, in recent decades, some other regions in China have also been able to produce high-quality soy sauce aroma type baijiu, but their microbial flora characteristics during fermentation are still unclear. Here, the bacterial microbial community structure of fermented grains in different rounds of Lutaichun soy sauce aroma type baijiu produced in North China was studied by high-throughput sequencing technology, and the potential probiotics strains with good characteristics (alcohol tolerance, etc.) were screened. The results showed that lactic acid bacteria were the main bacteria in the process of baijiu fermentation. However, as the number of repeated fermentation rounds increased, the proportion of lactic acid bacteria decreased. Firmicutes (96.81%) were the main bacteria in baijiu fermentation at the phylum level, and Lactobacillus (66.50%) were the main bacteria at the genus level. Finally, two strains with high resistance to alcohol stress, Lactiplantibacillus plantarum LTJ12 and Pediococcus acidilactici LTJ28, were screened from 48 strains of lactic acid bacteria in the fermented grains. The survival rates of L. plantarum LTJ12 and P. acidilactici LTJ28 under the 8% alcohol stress treatment were 59.01% and 55.50%, respectively. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to reveal the microbial succession of fermented grains in different rounds of soy sauce aroma type baijiu from North China, and has the benefit of explaining the deep molecular mechanism in the process of baijiu fermentation. In addition, the obtained lactic acid bacteria strains with high alcohol tolerance could be conducive to the development of new products such as active probiotic alcoholic beverages and may have important industrial development prospects also. Full article
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17 pages, 4905 KiB  
Article
Novel Thermostable Heparinase Based on the Genome of Bacteroides Isolated from Human Gut Microbiota
Foods 2022, 11(10), 1462; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11101462 - 18 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1650
Abstract
Among the nutrients available to the human gut microbiota, the complex carbohydrates and glycosaminoglycans are important sources of carbon for some of the species of human gut microbiota. Glycosaminoglycan (heparin) from the host is a highly preferred carbohydrate for Bacteroides. To explore [...] Read more.
Among the nutrients available to the human gut microbiota, the complex carbohydrates and glycosaminoglycans are important sources of carbon for some of the species of human gut microbiota. Glycosaminoglycan (heparin) from the host is a highly preferred carbohydrate for Bacteroides. To explore how gut microbiota can effectively use heparin as a carbon source for growth, we conducted a screening of the Carbohydrate-Active enzymes (CAZymes) database for lytic enzymes of the PL13 family and Research Center of Food Biotechnology at School of Food Science and Technology of Jiangnan University database of Bacteroides to identify novel glycosaminoglycan-degrading bacterial strains. Four Bacteroides species (Bacteroides eggerthii, Bacteroides clarus, Bacteroides nordii, and Bacteroides finegoldii) that degraded heparin were selected for further studies. Analysis of the polysaccharide utilization sites of the four strains revealed that all of them harbored enzyme encoding genes of the PL13 family. Functional analysis revealed the activity of CAZymes in a medium containing heparin as the sole carbon source, suggesting their potential to degrade heparin and support growth. The four enzymes were heterologous expressed, and their enzymatic properties, kinetics, and thermal stability were determined. The lytic enzyme of B. nordii had high enzymatic activity and thermal stability. The features that cause this high thermal stability were elucidated based on an examination of the three-dimensional structure of the protein. Our findings provide an important theoretical basis for the application of glycosaminoglycans and glycosaminoglycan-degrading enzymes in the medical and biotechnology industries, and an important scientific basis for precision nutrition and medical intervention studies using gut microbiota or enzymes as targets. Full article
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17 pages, 7237 KiB  
Article
Lactobacillus fermentum Stimulates Intestinal Secretion of Immunoglobulin A in an Individual-Specific Manner
Foods 2022, 11(9), 1229; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11091229 - 25 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1602
Abstract
Immunoglobulin A (IgA), as the most secreted immunoglobulin in the intestine, plays an irreplaceable role in mucosal immunity regulation. Previous studies have indicated that Lactobacillus showed strain specificity in stimulating the secretion of IgA through intestinal mucosal lymphocytes. The reason for this phenomenon [...] Read more.
Immunoglobulin A (IgA), as the most secreted immunoglobulin in the intestine, plays an irreplaceable role in mucosal immunity regulation. Previous studies have indicated that Lactobacillus showed strain specificity in stimulating the secretion of IgA through intestinal mucosal lymphocytes. The reason for this phenomenon is not clear. The current studies have been aimed at exploring the effect of a strain on the secretion of IgA in the host’s intestine, but the mechanism behind it has not been seriously studied. Based on this, we selected five strains of Lactobacillus fermentum isolated from different individuals to determine whether there are intraspecific differences in stimulating the secretion of IgA from the intestinal mucosa. It was found that IgA concentrations in different intestinal segments and faeces induced by L. fermentum were different. 12-1 and X6L1 strains increased the secretion of IgA by the intestine significantly. In addition, different strains of L. fermentum were also proven to have different effects on the host gut microbiota but no significant effects on IgA-coated microbiota. Besides, it was speculated that different strains of L. fermentum may act on different pathways to stimulate IgA in a non-inflammatory manner. By explaining the differences of IgA secretion in the host’s intestine tract stimulated by different strains of L. fermentum, it is expected to provide a theoretical basis for the stimulation of intestinal secretion of IgA by Lactobacillus and a new direction for exploring the relationship between Lactobacillus and human immunity. Full article
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19 pages, 12780 KiB  
Article
Beneficial Effects of Three Dietary Cyclodextrins on Preventing Fat Accumulation and Remodeling Gut Microbiota in Mice Fed a High-Fat Diet
Foods 2022, 11(8), 1118; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11081118 - 13 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1602
Abstract
Globally, obesity and its metabolic complications, which are intimately linked to diet, are major public health problems. Cyclodextrins (CDs) are cyclic oligosaccharides consisting of (α-1,4)-linked D-glucopyranose units that can reduce fat bioavailability and affect metabolism by improving intestinal flora as prebiotics. We compared [...] Read more.
Globally, obesity and its metabolic complications, which are intimately linked to diet, are major public health problems. Cyclodextrins (CDs) are cyclic oligosaccharides consisting of (α-1,4)-linked D-glucopyranose units that can reduce fat bioavailability and affect metabolism by improving intestinal flora as prebiotics. We compared the effects of three CDs on preventing fat accumulation and remodeling gut microbiota in a high-fat diet-fed C57BL/6J mouse model. α-CD maximized energy expenditure by 12.53%, caused the RER value to drop from 0.814 to 0.788, and increased the proportion of fatty acid oxidation for energy supply. β-CD supplementation resulted in a marked 24.53% reduction in weight gain and a decrease in epididymal-fat-relative weight from 3.76% to 2.09%. It also minimized ectopic fat deposition and improved blood lipid parameters. γ-CD maximized the concentration of SCFAs in the cecum from 6.29 to 15.31 μmol/g. All three CDs reduced the abundance ratio of Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes to a low-fat diet level, increased the abundance of Lactobacillus and Akkermansia, and reduced the abundance of Allobaculum and Ruminococcus. These findings imply that a combination of multiple CDs may exert superior effects as a potential strategy for obesity prevention. Full article
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11 pages, 3944 KiB  
Article
Crucial Residues of C-Terminal Oligopeptide C60 to Improve the Yield of Prebiotic Xylooligosaccharides by Truncated Mutation
Foods 2022, 11(6), 862; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11060862 - 18 Mar 2022
Viewed by 1488
Abstract
Increasing the yields of short xylooligosaccharides by enzymatic production is efficient to improve prebiotic effects. Previously, C-terminal oligopeptide C60 was found to accelerate short xylooligosaccharides. Herein, in order to further understand the molecular mechanism of C60, the sequence analysis firstly showed that C60 [...] Read more.
Increasing the yields of short xylooligosaccharides by enzymatic production is efficient to improve prebiotic effects. Previously, C-terminal oligopeptide C60 was found to accelerate short xylooligosaccharides. Herein, in order to further understand the molecular mechanism of C60, the sequence analysis firstly showed that C60 displays typical properties of a linker (rich in proline/alanine/glycine/glutamine/arginine, 8.33–20.00%). C60 shared the highest identity with the N-terminal region of esterase (98.33%) and high identity with the linker between xylanase and esterase from Prevotella sp. (56.50%), it is speculated to originate from an early linker between XynA and another domain. Besides, structure simulation showed that C60 enhances the molecular interactions between substrate and active residues to improve catalytic efficiency. Moreover, three truncated variants with different lengths of C-terminal regions were successfully generated in Escherichia coli. The specific activities of variants were 6.44–10.24 fold of that of XynA-Tr, and their optimal temperature and pH were the same as XynA-Tr. Three truncated variants released more xylooligosaccharides, especially xylobiose (46.33, 43.41, and 49.60%), than XynA-Tr (32.43%). These results are helpful to understand the molecular mechanism of C60, and also provide new insight to improve the yields of short xylooligosaccharides by molecular modification at the terminal of xylanases. Full article
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13 pages, 1521 KiB  
Article
Probiotic Effects and Metabolic Products of Enterococcus faecalis LD33 with Respiration Capacity
Foods 2022, 11(4), 606; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11040606 - 20 Feb 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3401
Abstract
Respiration metabolism could improve the long-term survival of lactic acid bacteria (LAB); however, its effect on potential probiotic traits of LAB was not reported. The difference made by Enterococcus faecalis LD33 that was cultured under respiration-permissive and fermentation conditions, such as the biomass, [...] Read more.
Respiration metabolism could improve the long-term survival of lactic acid bacteria (LAB); however, its effect on potential probiotic traits of LAB was not reported. The difference made by Enterococcus faecalis LD33 that was cultured under respiration-permissive and fermentation conditions, such as the biomass, metabolites, antimicrobial activity, tolerance to acid and bile salt, adhesion capabilities, and the ability to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells were studied. Under a respiration-permissive condition, the final biomass of the culture was about twice as compared to that of fermentation condition. When the metabolites were measured, glucose was exhausted within 8 h. Two-folds of acetic acid, triple of both acetoin and diacetyl, and less than half of lactic acid, were accumulated under the respiratory-permissive condition. No discrimination of growth inhibition on Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium ATCC 14028 and Shigella sonnei ATCC 25931 was observed when Enterococcus faecalis LD33 was cultured under both conditions; however, under respiration-permissive condition, the strain presented significant antimicrobial activities to Listeria monocytogenes ATCC19111 and Staphylococcus aureus ATCC6538P. Enterococcus faecalis LD33 displayed relatively strong bile salt tolerance and adherence capability but weaker acid tolerance when undergoing respiration metabolism. There was no significant difference in the anti-cancer effect of the viable bacterial cells on both growth modes; however, the supernatant showed a higher inhibition effect on HT-29 cells than the live bacteria, and there was no significant difference between the supernatant and the 5-Fluorouracil (7 μg/mL). Consequently, the Enterococcus faecalis LD33 undergoing respiration metabolism could bring higher biomass, more flavor metabolites, and better antimicrobial and anti-cancer activities. This study extends our knowledge of respiratory metabolism in LAB and its impact on probiotic traits. E. faecalis LD33 qualifies as a suitable strain against foodborne pathogens, cancer therapy, and eventual application in the food and pharmaceutical industries. Full article
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14 pages, 4899 KiB  
Article
Serum Metabolomics Analysis for Biomarkers of Lactobacillus plantarum FRT4 in High-Fat Diet-Induced Obese Mice
Foods 2022, 11(2), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11020184 - 11 Jan 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2236
Abstract
Lactobacillus plantarum is considered a potential probiotic supplementation for treating obesity. However, the underlying molecular mechanism is poorly understood. Our previous study displayed that L. plantarum FRT4 alleviated obesity in mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD) through ameliorating the HFD-induced gut microbiota dysbiosis. [...] Read more.
Lactobacillus plantarum is considered a potential probiotic supplementation for treating obesity. However, the underlying molecular mechanism is poorly understood. Our previous study displayed that L. plantarum FRT4 alleviated obesity in mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD) through ameliorating the HFD-induced gut microbiota dysbiosis. To explore the roles of FRT4 in obesity prevention, in this study, we investigated changes in serum metabolomic phenotype by ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UHPLC-QTOF/MS) and analyzed the pathway of HFD-fed Kunming female mice orally administered with FRT4 for eight weeks. Using orthogonal partial least squares discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA), metabolite patterns with significant changes were observed. 55 metabolites including phosphatidylcholine, lysophophatidylcholine, sphingomyelin, serotonin, indole-3-methyl aceta, indole-3-carbinol, indole-5,6-quino, 11,12-DHET, prostaglandin B2, leukotriene B4, and 3-hydroxybenzoic acid were identified as potential biomarkers associated with obesity, which were mainly involving in glycerophospholipid metabolism, tryptophan metabolism, and arachidonic acid metabolism. Perturbations of 14 biomarkers could be regulated by FRT4 intervention. These metabolites may serve as valuable biomarkers to understand the mechanisms by which intake of diets containing FRT4 contributes to the treatment or prevention of obesity. Thus, FRT4 can be a promising dietary supplement for the prevention of HFD-induced obesity. Full article
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12 pages, 1859 KiB  
Article
Phenolics Profile, Antioxidant Activity and Flavor Volatiles of Pear Juice: Influence of Lactic Acid Fermentation Using Three Lactobacillus Strains in Monoculture and Binary Mixture
Foods 2022, 11(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11010011 - 21 Dec 2021
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 2952
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of lactic acid fermentation using three Lactobacillus strains (Lactiplantibacillus plantarum 90, Lactobacillus helveticus 76, and Lacticaseibacillus casei 37) in monoculture and binary mixture on phenolics profile, antioxidant activity and flavor volatiles in [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of lactic acid fermentation using three Lactobacillus strains (Lactiplantibacillus plantarum 90, Lactobacillus helveticus 76, and Lacticaseibacillus casei 37) in monoculture and binary mixture on phenolics profile, antioxidant activity and flavor volatiles in pear juice. Results showed that the colony counts of binary mixture were higher than monoculture in fermented pear juice. The total content of phenols was increased, while that of flavonoids was decreased significantly during fermentation (p < 0.05). Antioxidant activities in fermented peer juice including DPPH and ABTS radical scavenging abilities and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) were significantly improved (p < 0.05). Binary mixture of Lactiplantibacillus plantarum 90 and Lacticaseibacillus casei 37 fermentation exhibited strong DPPH radical scavenging ability, due to the increase in vanillic acid and arbutin contents. Furthermore, lactic acid fermentation improved the formation of alcohols, esters, acids and terpenoids, and reduced the contents of aldehydes and ketones. Thirty new compounds including 15 alcohols, seven esters, five acids, and three terpenoids were observed in fermented pear juice. Hierarchical cluster revealed that flavor volatiles in pear juice were improved dramatically by Lactobacillus strains fermentation, and there were dramatic differences between monoculture and binary mixture. Full article
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16 pages, 2739 KiB  
Article
Lactobacillus plantarum MA2 Ameliorates Methionine and Choline-Deficient Diet Induced Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Rats by Improving the Intestinal Microecology and Mucosal Barrier
Foods 2021, 10(12), 3126; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10123126 - 16 Dec 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2446
Abstract
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has become a highly concerned health issue in modern society. Due to the attentions of probiotics in the prevention of NAFLD, it is necessary to further clarify their roles. In this study, the methionine and choline-deficient (MCD) diet [...] Read more.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has become a highly concerned health issue in modern society. Due to the attentions of probiotics in the prevention of NAFLD, it is necessary to further clarify their roles. In this study, the methionine and choline-deficient (MCD) diet induced NAFLD rats model were constructed and treated with strain L. plantarum MA2 by intragastric administration once a day at a dose of 1 × 108 cfu/g.bw. After 56 days of the therapeutic intervention, the lipid metabolism and the liver pathological damage of the NAFLD rats were significantly improved. The content of total cholesterol (TC) and total triglyceride (TG) in serum were significantly lower than that in the NAFLD group (p < 0.05). Meanwhile, the intestinal mucosal barrier and the structure of intestinal microbiota were also improved. The villi length and the expression of claudin-1 was significantly higher than that in the NAFLD group (p < 0.05). Then, by detecting the content of LPS in the serum and the LPS-TLR4 pathway in the liver, we can conclude that Lactobacillus plantarum MA2 could reduce the LPS by regulating the gut microecology, thereby inhibit the activation of LPS-TLR4 and it downstream inflammatory signaling pathways. Therefore, our studies on rats showed that L. plantarum MA2 has the potential application in the alleviation of NAFLD. Moreover, based on the application of the strain in food industry, this study is of great significance to the development of new therapeutic strategy for NAFLD. Full article
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Review

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24 pages, 2023 KiB  
Review
Health Benefits and Side Effects of Short-Chain Fatty Acids
Foods 2022, 11(18), 2863; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11182863 - 15 Sep 2022
Cited by 58 | Viewed by 8452
Abstract
The gut microbiota and their metabolites could play an important role in health and diseases of human beings. Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) are mainly produced by gut microbiome fermentation of dietary fiber and could also be produced by bacteria of the skin and [...] Read more.
The gut microbiota and their metabolites could play an important role in health and diseases of human beings. Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) are mainly produced by gut microbiome fermentation of dietary fiber and could also be produced by bacteria of the skin and vagina. Acetate, propionate, and butyrate are three major SCFAs, and their bioactivities have been widely studied. The SCFAs have many health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory, immunoregulatory, anti-obesity, anti-diabetes, anticancer, cardiovascular protective, hepatoprotective, and neuroprotective activities. This paper summarizes health benefits and side effects of SCFAs with a special attention paid to the mechanisms of action. This paper provides better support for people eating dietary fiber as well as ways for dietary fiber to be developed into functional food to prevent diseases. Full article
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18 pages, 2025 KiB  
Review
Synbiotics and Gut Microbiota: New Perspectives in the Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Foods 2022, 11(16), 2438; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11162438 - 13 Aug 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2322
Abstract
The number of people with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) has increased sharply over the past decades. Apart from genetic predisposition, which may cause some of the diagnosed cases, an unhealthy diet and lifestyle are incentive triggers of this global epidemic. Consumption of [...] Read more.
The number of people with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) has increased sharply over the past decades. Apart from genetic predisposition, which may cause some of the diagnosed cases, an unhealthy diet and lifestyle are incentive triggers of this global epidemic. Consumption of probiotics and prebiotics to gain health benefits has become increasingly accepted by the public in recent years, and their critical roles in alleviating T2DM symptoms are confirmed by accumulating studies. Microbiome research reveals gut colonization by probiotics and their impacts on the host, while oral intake of prebiotics may stimulate existing metabolisms in the colon. The use of synbiotics (a combination of prebiotics and probiotics) can thus show a synergistic effect on T2DM through modulating the gastrointestinal microenvironment. This review summarizes the research progress in the treatment of T2DM from the perspective of synbiotics and gut microbiota and provides a class of synbiotics which are composed of lactulose, arabinose, and Lactobacillus plantarum, and can effectively adjust the blood glucose, blood lipid, and body weight of T2DM patients to ideal levels. Full article
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19 pages, 1115 KiB  
Review
Recent Advances in Nattokinase-Enriched Fermented Soybean Foods: A Review
Foods 2022, 11(13), 1867; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11131867 - 24 Jun 2022
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 4301
Abstract
With the dramatic increase in mortality of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) caused by thrombus, this has sparked an interest in seeking more effective thrombolytic drugs or dietary nutriments. The dietary consumption of natto, a traditional Bacillus-fermented food (BFF), can reduce the risk of [...] Read more.
With the dramatic increase in mortality of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) caused by thrombus, this has sparked an interest in seeking more effective thrombolytic drugs or dietary nutriments. The dietary consumption of natto, a traditional Bacillus-fermented food (BFF), can reduce the risk of CVDs. Nattokinase (NK), a natural, safe, efficient and cost-effective thrombolytic enzyme, is the most bioactive ingredient in natto. NK has progressively been considered to have potentially beneficial cardiovascular effects. Microbial synthesis is a cost-effective method of producing NK. Bacillus spp. are the main production strains. While microbial synthesis of NK has been thoroughly explored, NK yield, activity and stability are the critical restrictions. Multiple optimization strategies are an attempt to tackle the current problems to meet commercial demands. We focus on the recent advances in NK, including fermented soybean foods, production strains, optimization strategies, extraction and purification, activity maintenance, biological functions, and safety assessment of NK. In addition, this review systematically discussed the challenges and prospects of NK in actual application. Due to the continuous exploration and rapid progress of NK, NK is expected to be a natural future alternative to CVDs. Full article
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19 pages, 1641 KiB  
Review
Recent Advances in Microbial Synthesis of Poly-γ-Glutamic Acid: A Review
Foods 2022, 11(5), 739; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11050739 - 02 Mar 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 4258
Abstract
Poly-γ-glutamic acid (γ-PGA) is a natural, safe, non-immunogenic, biodegradable, and environmentally friendly glutamic biopolymer. γ-PGA has been regarded as a promising bio-based materials in the food field, medical field, even in environmental engineering field, and other industrial fields. Microbial synthesis is an economical [...] Read more.
Poly-γ-glutamic acid (γ-PGA) is a natural, safe, non-immunogenic, biodegradable, and environmentally friendly glutamic biopolymer. γ-PGA has been regarded as a promising bio-based materials in the food field, medical field, even in environmental engineering field, and other industrial fields. Microbial synthesis is an economical and effective way to synthesize γ-PGA. Bacillus species are the most widely studied producing strains. γ-PGA biosynthesis involves metabolic pathway of racemization, polymerization, transfer, and catabolism. Although microbial synthesis of γ-PGA has already been used extensively, productivity and yield remain the major constraints for its industrial application. Metabolic regulation is an attempt to solve the above bottleneck problems and meet the demands of commercialization. Therefore, it is important to understand critical factors that influence γ-PGA microbial synthesis in depth. This review focuses on production strains, biosynthetic pathway, and metabolic regulation. Moreover, it systematically summarizes the functional properties, purification procedure, and industrial application of γ-PGA. Full article
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