A dietary carbohydrate – gut Parasutterella – human fatty acid biosynthesis metabolic axis in obesity and type 2 diabetes.


Lea Henneke, Kristina Schlicht, Nadia A Andreani, Tim Hollstein, Tobias Demetrowitsch, Carina Knappe, Katharina Hartmann, Julia Jensen-Kroll, Nathalie Rohmann, Daniela Pohlschneider, Corinna Geisler, Dominik M Schulte, Ute Settgast, Kathrin Türk, Johannes Zimmermann, Christoph Kaleta, John F Baines, Jane Shearer, Shrushti Shah, Grace Shen-Tu, Karin Schwarz, Andre Franke, Stefan Schreiber, Matthias Laudes

Year of publication



Gut Microbes







Impact factor



Recent rodent microbiome experiments suggest that besides Akkermansia, Parasutterella sp. are important in type 2 diabetes and obesity development. In the present translational human study, we aimed to characterize Parasutterella in our European cross-sectional FoCus cohort (n = 1,544) followed by validation of the major results in an independent Canadian cohort (n = 438). In addition, we examined Parasutterella abundance in response to a weight loss intervention (n = 55). Parasutterella was positively associated with BMI and type 2 diabetes independently of the reduced microbiome α/β diversity and low-grade inflammation commonly found in obesity. Nutritional analysis revealed a positive association with the dietary intake of carbohydrates but not with fat or protein consumption. Out of 126 serum metabolites differentially detectable by untargeted HPLC-based MS-metabolomics, L-cysteine showed the strongest reduction in subjects with high Parasutterella abundance. This is of interest, since Parasutterella is a known high L-cysteine consumer and L-cysteine is known to improve blood glucose levels in rodents. Furthermore, metabolic network enrichment analysis identified an association of high Parasutterella abundance with the activation of the human fatty acid biosynthesis pathway suggesting a mechanism for body weight gain. This is supported by a significant reduction of the Parasutterella abundance during our weight loss intervention. Together, these data indicate a role for Parasutterella in human type 2 diabetes and obesity, whereby the link to L-cysteine might be relevant in type 2 diabetes development and the link to the fatty acid biosynthesis pathway for body weight gain in response to a carbohydrate-rich diet in obesity development.