The Interaction Between Intestinal Epithelial Cells and Bacteria: The Effect of Butyrate on Gene Expression

Mariam Labrouzi, Marion Kracmerová, Patricia-Alexandra Apostolica & Gökce Nihan Yildirim

Studenteropgave: Fagmodulprojekt


More and more research is being done on the symbiotic relation between bacteria and the human body. Bacteria reside in various places - one of them being the intestine - where they contribute with various important molecules such as sodium butyrate that is used as energy in colonic epithelial cells. The overall aim of the project was to establish whether there is an interaction between bacteria residing in the intestinal lumen and the intestinal epithelial cells, by investigating the effect of butyrate on specific genes. The method used is a promoter analysis by transfection of reporter plasmids into Caco-2 cells. The results are obtained by measuring the activity of the reporter genes.

According to the results obtained from our procedure, we were able to see that sodium butyrate had an affect on the expression of several genes. TCF4, APC, HBP1, SOX9, CGN, CDCX2, CDC42, CDKN2D, YAP-1, HNF4, SPINT-1, Oca2 and HOXB4 were upregulated while TOPFlash, Heph and miR194a were downregulated. Further, it was established, based on the genes analyzed, that butyrate might be related to the NF-KB complex and Wnt signaling pathway. However, these findings cannot be considered as conclusive, more extensive research needs to be done in order to fully understand the mechanisms that are affected by sodium butyrate and how they induce the up or downregulation of specific genes. Further research within this area could allow the discovery of more important factors involved in the interaction between bacteria and human cells.

UddannelserBasis - International Naturvidenskabelig Bacheloruddannelse, (Bachelor uddannelse) Bachelor
Udgivelsesdato26 maj 2016
Antal sider64
VejledereJesper Thorvald Troelsen


  • butyrate
  • gene expression
  • NF-KB
  • Wnt
  • Bacteria and cell interaction
  • intestine
  • colorectal cancer