Metagenomic analysis of gut microbiota modulatory effects of jujube (Ziziphus jujuba Mill.) polysaccharides in a colorectal cancer mouse model†
Accumulating evidence has reported that the gut microbiota could play important roles in the occurrence and progression of colorectal cancer. The nondigestible plant polysaccharides have always been fermented by the intestinal microbiota. Polysaccharides, the predominant functional composition found in jujube fruit, has been shown to inhibit carcinogenesis in animal models. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in polysaccharides preventing carcinogenesis are still uncharacterized. The aim of this study was to investigate the modulatory effects of jujube polysaccharides (JP) on intestinal microbiota, and the influence of JP on the gut flora structure was then analyzed using an AOM/DSS-induced colitis cancer mouse model, using high-throughput sequencing. Contrasted with control group, the addition of JP could ward off colon cancer by ameliorating colitis cancer-induced gut dysbiosis. In addition, there was a significant decrease in Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes post JP treatment. What's more, KEGG pathways of metabolic pathways, ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters and two-component system enriched the most differentially expressed genes after JP intervention for 13 weeks. These results suggested that JP showed prebiotic-like activities by positively modulating intestinal microbiota and affecting certain metabolic pathways contributing to host health. In conclusion, our results demonstrated an appreciable capability of JP to restore the gut microbiota profile altered by AOM/DSS, indicating the potential of jujube polysaccharides as promising prebiotic candidates for the prevention and treatment of colorectal cancer.