Gut Microbiota and Phenotypic Changes Induced by Ablation of Liver- and Intestinal-Type Fatty Acid-Binding Proteins

Guojun Wu*, Hiba R. Tawfeeq*, Atreju I. Lackey*, Yinxiu Zhou*, Zoe Sifnakis*, Sophia Zacharisen*, Heli Xu*, Justine M. Doran*, Harini Sampath*, Liping Zhao*, Yan Lam*, Judith Storch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Intestinal fatty acid-binding protein (IFABP; FABP2) and liver fatty acid-binding protein (LFABP; FABP1) are small intracellular lipid-binding proteins. Deficiency of either of these proteins in mice leads to differential changes in intestinal lipid transport and metabolism, and to markedly divergent changes in whole-body energy homeostasis. The gut microbiota has been reported to play a pivotal role in metabolic process in the host and can be affected by host genetic factors. Here, we examined the phenotypes of wild-type (WT), LFABP−/−, and IFABP−/− mice before and after high-fat diet (HFD) feeding and applied 16S rRNA gene V4 sequencing to explore guild-level changes in the gut microbiota and their associations with the phenotypes. The results show that, compared with WT and IFABP−/− mice, LFABP−/− mice gained more weight, had longer intestinal transit time, less fecal output, and more guilds containing bacteria associated with obesity, such as members in family Desulfovibrionaceae. By contrast, IFABP−/− mice gained the least weight, had the shortest intestinal transit time, the most fecal output, and the highest abundance of potentially beneficial guilds such as those including members from Akkermansia, Lactobacillus, and Bifidobacterium. Twelve out of the eighteen genotype-related bacterial guilds were associated with body weight. Interestingly, compared with WT mice, the levels of short-chain fatty acids in feces were significantly higher in LFABP−/− and IFABP−/− mice under both diets. Collectively, these studies show that the ablation of LFABP or IFABP induced marked changes in the gut microbiota, and these were associated with HFD-induced phenotypic changes in these mice.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1762
Number of pages16
Issue number9
Early online dateApr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022

User-Defined Keywords

  • gut microbiota
  • intestinal fatty acid-binding protein
  • liver fatty acid-binding protein


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