BBSRC Studentship: Functional modulation of the intestinal mucas layer by commensal bacteria

Lead Research Organisation: Institute of Food Research
Department Name: Contracts


Intestinal tract mucins are principal components of the intestinal mucosa and perform a protective function against microbial and mechanical damage. By directly modulating gene expression in the epithelium the microbiota can affect several physiological processes of the intestinal tract.

The project uses an interdisciplinary approach to i) investigate whether bacteria residing in the gut regulate mucin expression and glycosylation, and ii) evaluate the consequence of mucin alteration on intestinal immune responses. The knowledge generated by the project will help develop strategies to treat intestinal pathologies affecting the mucus barrier.
The specific objectives of the project are:
Objective 1: Set up and characterisation of mouse IEC models
Objective 2: Functional modulation of mucus expression in response to gut bacteria
Objective 3: Functional modulation of mucin glycosylation in response to gut bacteria
Objective 4: Functional consequences of mucus deficiency and altered mucin expression on IEC responses to gut bacteria
The work will be carried out in the Gastrointestinal Tract (GIT) Programme, which is engaged in elucidating the specificity of gut-microbe interactions. The project is supervised by Dr Nathalie Juge (IFR-GIT) and Prof Simon Carding (IFR-GIT and UEA).


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