Conversion of dietary inositol into propionate and acetate by commensal Anaerostipes associates with host health

Bui, Thi Phuong Nam; Mannerås-Holm, Louise; Puschmann, Robert; Wu, Hao; Troise, Antonio Dario; Nijsse, Bart; Boeren, Sjef; Bäckhed, Fredrik; Fiedler, Dorothea; deVos, Willem M.


We describe the anaerobic conversion of inositol stereoisomers to propionate and acetate by the abundant intestinal genus Anaerostipes. A inositol pathway was elucidated by nuclear magnetic resonance using [13C]-inositols, mass spectrometry and proteogenomic analyses in A. rhamnosivorans, identifying 3-oxoacid CoA transferase as a key enzyme involved in both 3-oxopropionyl-CoA and propionate formation. This pathway also allowed conversion of phytate-derived inositol into propionate as shown with [13C]-phytate in fecal samples amended with A. rhamnosivorans. Metabolic and (meta)genomic analyses explained the adaptation of Anaerostipes spp. to inositol-containing substrates and identified a propionate-production gene cluster to be inversely associated with metabolic biomarkers in (pre)diabetes cohorts. Co-administration of myo-inositol with live A. rhamnosivorans in western-diet fed mice reduced fasting-glucose levels comparing to heat-killed A. rhamnosivorans after 6-weeks treatment. Altogether, these data suggest a potential beneficial role for intestinal Anaerostipes spp. in promoting host health.