Colonic mucosal DNA methylation, immune response, and microbiome patterns in Toll-like receptor 2-knockout mice

Richard Kellermayer, Scot E. Dowd, R. Alan Harris, Alfred Balasa, Tiffany D. Schaible, Randy D. Wolcott, Nina Tatevian, Reka Szigeti, Zhijie Li, James Versalovic, C. Wayne Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


The connection between intestinal microbiota and host physiology is increasingly becoming recognized. The details of this dynamic interaction, however, remain to be explored. Toll-like receptor 2 (Tlr2) is important for its role in bacterial recognition, intestinal inflammation, and obesity-related metabolic changes. Therefore, we sought to determine the epigenomic and metagenomic consequences of Tlr2 deficiency in the colonic mucosa of mice to gain insights into biological pathways that shape the interface between the gut microbiota and the mammalian host. Colonic mucosa from wild type (WT) and Tlr2-/- C57BL/6 mice was interrogated by microarrays specific for DNA methylation and gene expression. The mucosal microbiome was studied by next-generation pyrosequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA. The expression of genes involved in immune processes was significantly modified by the absence of Tlr2, a number of which correlated with DNA methylation changes. The epigenomic and transcriptomic modifications associated with alteration in mucosal microbial composition. Several bacterial species, including members of the Firmicutes were significantly different in abundance between WT and Tlr2-/- animals. This manuscript highlights the intimate interrelationships between expression of immune-related genes and immunity pathways in the host with compositional and functional differences of the mammalian microbiome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1449-1460
Number of pages12
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011


  • Epigenetics
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Metagenomics
  • Tlr2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology


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