Potential role of chitinases and chitin-binding proteins in host-microbial interactions during the development of intestinal inflammation

Hoa T. Tran, Nicolas Barnich, Emiko Mizoguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


The small and large intestines contain an abundance of luminal antigens derived from food products and enteric microorganisms. The function of intestinal epithelial cells is tightly regulated by several factors produced by enteric bacteria and the epithelial cells themselves. Epithelial cells actively participate in regulating the homeostasis of intestine, and failure of this function leads to abnormal and host-microbial interactions resulting in the development of intestinal inflammation. Major determinants of host susceptibility against luminal commensal bacteria include genes regulating mucosal immune responses, intestinal barrier function and microbial defense. Of note, it has been postulated that commensal bacterial adhesion and invasion on/into host cells may be strongly involved in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). During the intestinal inflammation, the composition of the commensal flora is altered, with increased population of aggressive and detrimental bacteria and decreased populations of protective bacteria. In fact, some pathogenic bacteria, including Adherent-Invasive Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes and Vibrio cholerae are likely to initiate their adhesion to the host cells by expressing accessory molecules such as chitinases and/or chitin-binding proteins on themselves. In addition, several inducible molecules (e.g., chitinase 3-like 1, CEACAM6) are also induced on the host cells (e.g. epithelial cells, lamina proprial macrophages) under inflammatory conditions, and are actively participated in the host-microbial interactions. In this review, we will summarize and discuss the potential roles of these important molecules during the development of acute and chronic inflammatory conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1453-1464
Number of pages12
JournalHistology and Histopathology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Bacteria
  • Chitinase
  • Colonic epithelial cells
  • Inflammatory bowel disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology


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