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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effect of bile acids on formation of the mutagen, quercetin, from two flavonol glycoside precursors by human gut bacterial preparations.

Human fecal cultures, induced with either of the flavonols, quercitrin or rutin, were grown in the presence of various concentrations of chenodeoxycholic acid, deoxycholic acid or cholic acid. Cell-free preparations (fecal preparations) from these cultures were then incubated with rutin or quercitrin. The formation of the aglycone, quercetin, was monitored by the Ames assay using tester strain TA98. The presence of chenodeoxycholic or deoxycholic acids in the quercitrin-induced culture resulted in a fecal preparation which enhanced the mutagenesis of quercitrin approximately two-fold at optimal concentrations of 0.6 mM and 0.8 mM respectively. Higher concentrations of these bile acids decreased the activity of the fecal preparations. Cholic acid gave similar results except a much higher concentration (3.0 mM) was required to achieve this effect. Analogous results with rutin-induced cultures were less clear cut: considerable variation in bile acid effect was noted among volunteers. The authors propose that bile acid in the medium may enhance the ability of rutin- and quercitrin-glycosidase elaborating organisms to successfully compete with other microbial populations. Additionally, the greater variation in results using rutin as inducer may reflect more heterogeneous populations of organisms active against this substrate. The possible role of bile acids and flavonols in bowel cancer is discussed.[1]


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