"Novel microbiota-derived metabolites and their functional impact on the gut mucosa"

The proposal must focus on new metabolites and small molecules, or novel functions of previously described metabolites, from gut microbiota that have an impact on gut mucosal pathways relevant to human health and disease. Already well-known metabolites such as SCFA, bile acids, tryptophan-derived molecules, virulence factors including toxins and large molecules are excluded from this call unless they are involved in novel functions that have not been previously described.


Henrik Roager, associate professor

Henrik Roager, Associate Professor,
Department of Nutrition,
Exercise and Sports,
University of Copenhagen

Bifidobacterium-derived peptides to fortify the intestinal mucosa in early life


Bifidobacterium are often found in high abundance in the gut of breastfed infants and considered to be beneficial for immune development. Yet, few Bifidobacterium-derived metabolites mediating hostmicrobial cross-talk are currently known.

The objective is to study a novel group of peptides, which Bifidobacterium appear to produce in the infant gut, as well as the peptides’ability to fortify the intestinal barrier function ifunction in early life.

More specifically, the project will :

  • investigate Bifidobacterium species and strain dependent production of the peptides in vitro,
  • identify and characterize the enzyme(s) responsible for production of the peptides in Bifidobacterium species,
  • determine the most abundant peptides in the infant gut and their dynamics and associations to Bifidobacterium species during the first 6 months of life,
  • and elucidate the effects of selected and most relevant peptides on intestinal barrier function using human intestinal organoids.


The project brings together four leading labs across Denmark, Japan and USA with complementary expertise within microbiota-metabolite-mucus interplays to provide novel insights into how Bifidobacterium derived peptides may fortify gut mucosal health.

Logos University

If successful, this could lay the ground for novel strategies for modulating mucosal functions in early life and beyond in gastrointestinal diseases.