Symbiotic lactobacilli stimulate gut epithelial proliferation via Nox-mediated generation of reactive oxygen species

Rheinallt M. Jones, Liping Luo, Courtney S. Ardita, Arena N. Richardson, Young Man Kwon, Jeffrey W. Mercante, Ashfaqul Alam, Cymone L. Gates, Huixia Wu, Phillip A. Swanson, J. David Lambeth, Patricia W. Denning, Andrew S. Neish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

296 Scopus citations


The resident prokaryotic microbiota of the metazoan gut elicits profound effects on the growth and development of the intestine. However, the molecular mechanisms of symbiotic prokaryotic-eukaryotic cross-talk in the gut are largely unknown. It is increasingly recognized that physiologically generated reactive oxygen species (ROS) function as signalling secondary messengers that influence cellular proliferation and differentiation in a variety of biological systems. Here, we report that commensal bacteria, particularly members of the genus Lactobacillus, can stimulate NADPH oxidase 1 (Nox1)-dependent ROS generation and consequent cellular proliferation in intestinal stem cells upon initial ingestion into the murine or Drosophila intestine. Our data identify and highlight a highly conserved mechanism that symbiotic microorganisms utilize in eukaryotic growth and development. Additionally, the work suggests that specific redox-mediated functions may be assigned to specific bacterial taxa and may contribute to the identification of microbes with probiotic potential.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3017-3028
Number of pages12
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number23
StatePublished - Nov 27 2013


  • Lactobacilli
  • Microbiota
  • Proliferation
  • ROS
  • Symbiosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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