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The Microbiological Memory, an Epigenetic Regulator Governing the Balance Between Good Health and Metabolic Disorders

Abstract : If the transmission of biological information from one generation to the next is based on DNA, most heritable phenotypic traits such as chronic metabolic diseases, are not linked to genetic variation in DNA sequences. Non-genetic heritability might have several causes including epigenetic, parental effect, adaptive social learning, and influence of the ecological environment. Distinguishing among these causes is crucial to resolve major phenotypic enigmas. Strong evidence indicates that changes in DNA expression through various epigenetic mechanisms can be linked to parent-offspring resemblance in terms of sensitivity to metabolic diseases. Among non-genetic heritable traits, early nutrition could account for a long term deviant programming of genes expression responsible for metabolic diseases in adulthood. Nutrition could shape an inadequate gut microbiota (dysbiosis), triggering epigenetic deregulation of transcription which can be observed in chronic metabolic diseases. We review herein the evidence that dysbiosis might be a major cause of heritable epigenetic patterns found to be associated with metabolic diseases. By taking into account the recent advances on the gut microbiome, we have aggregated together different observations supporting the hypothesis that the gut microbiota could promote the molecular crosstalk between bacteria and surrounding host cells which controls the pathological epigenetic signature. We introduce for the first time the concept of ``microbiological memory'' as the main regulator of the epigenetic signatures, thereby indicating that different causes of non-genetic heritability can interact in complex pathways to produce inheritance.
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Christian A. Devaux, Didier Raoult. The Microbiological Memory, an Epigenetic Regulator Governing the Balance Between Good Health and Metabolic Disorders. Frontiers in Microbiology, Frontiers Media, 2018, 9, pp.1379. ⟨10.3389/fmicb.2018.01379⟩. ⟨hal-01858888⟩



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