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Fields of Interest:

The gut microbiota is an important factor in human health and physiology. The major factor regulating the microbiota composition and activity is our diet, which consists of multiple macro and micro-nutrients such as amino acids, lipids, carbohydrates etc. Our lab studies how the diet interacts with bacteria in the gut to produce metabolites and effectors that affect the host immune system, metabolism and organ function. Specifically, we are interested in the molecular mechanisms the governs the effects of dietary sulfur amino acids on host diseases such as chronic kidney disease and colorectal cancer.

Previously, we showed that dietary sulfur amino acids (methionine and cysteine) correlate with the concentrations of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in the colon, and in-turn H2S induces a post-translational modification termed S-sulfhydration on reactive cysteine residues. We found that feeding a mouse chronic kidney disease model with high sulfur amino acids diet resulted in higher S-sulfhydration of the bacterial enzyme tryptophanase that produces the uremic toxin indoxyl sulfate. S-sulfhydration of tryptophanase resulted in its inhibition and alleviation of kidney disease in these mice, compared to diet low in sulfur amino acids.

Research focus:

  1. Profile post-translational modifications in gut bacteria and study their effects on bacterial activity and host health.
  2. Study the proteome of gut bacteria in relation to dietary changes and diseases.
  3. Characterize the effects of bacteria on modulating host colon epithelial cells proteome. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

PhD

Oct 2009Apr 2016

Award Date: 1 Apr 2016

Bachelor

Oct 2006Oct 2009

Award Date: 1 Oct 2009

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