N-glycans from human milk glycoproteins are selectively released by an infant gut symbiont in vivo

KARAV S., Casaburi G., Arslan A., KAPLAN M., Sucu B., Frese S.

JOURNAL OF FUNCTIONAL FOODS, vol.61, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 61
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jff.2019.103485
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Keywords: Probiotic, Microbiome, Human milk, Glycoproteins, Milk, Bifidobacterium infantis, BREAST-FED INFANTS, OLIGOSACCHARIDES, BIFIDOBACTERIA, CONSUMPTION
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


Complex, indigestible free oligosaccharides as well as conjugated glycans are found in milk that shape the gut microbiome of infants. The activity of an endo-beta-N-acetylglucosaminidase from B. longum subsp. infantis (B. infantis) is known to release N-glycans from native milk glycoproteins under physiological conditions. We investigated whether this enzyme is active in vivo in breastfed infants fed B. infantis EVC001. Using mass spectrometry, we found 19 N-glycans related to human milk glycoproteins increased in abundance, similar to previous work using bovine milk glycoproteins, and these 19 N-glycans matched unique specificities of this enzyme. Twenty N-glycans were unique to infants fed B. infantis EVC001. Bifidobacteriaceae were correlated with these glycans, confirming the relationship between B. infantis and released N-glycans. This suggests that this enzyme is active in vivo and releases N-glycans from milk glycoproteins, and may play a role in B. infantis EVC001 colonization of the gut microbiome.