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Protein Turnover in Epithelial Cells and Mucus along the Gastrointestinal Tract Is Coordinated by the Spatial Location and Microbiota

Journal article
Authors Liisa Arike
A. Seiman
Sjoerd van der Post
Ana María Rodríguez-Piñeiro
Anna Ermund
André Schütte
Fredrik Bäckhed
Malin E V Johansson
Gunnar C. Hansson
Published in Cell Reports
Volume 30
Issue 4
Pages 1077-1087
ISSN 2211-1247
Publication year 2020
Published at Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Institute of Medicine, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine
Pages 1077-1087
Language en
Keywords amino-acid-metabolism, chain fatty-acids, gut microbiota, germ-free, expression, transport, dynamics, kinetics, crypt, diet, Cell Biology
Subject categories Clinical Medicine


The gastrointestinal tract is covered by a single layer of epithelial cells that, together with the mucus layers, protect the underlying tissue from microbial invasion. The epithelium has one of the highest turnover rates in the body. Using stable isotope labeling, high-resolution mass spectrometry, and computational analysis, we report a comprehensive dataset of the turnover of more than 3,000 and the expression of more than 5,000 intestinal epithelial cell proteins, analyzed under conventional and germ-free conditions across five different segments in mouse intestine. The median protein half-life is shorter in the small intestine than in the colon. Differences in protein turnover rates along the intestinal tract can be explained by distinct physiological and immune-related functions between the small and large intestine. An absence of microbiota results in an approximately 1 day longer protein half-life in germ-free animals.

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