HYPERMAG pathogens

Metabolic cross talk between pathogens and the gut

Gut infection by intracellular bacterial pathogens is one of the most serious threats to the health of humans and animals worldwide. In HYPERMAG, we develop hyperpolarized DNP-NMR as a new technology providing unique metabolic information needed to address this challenge. The non-invasive, real-time metabolic data are quantitative and directly amenable for identifying the most crucial enzymatic steps in pathogen metabolism.
Several of the deadliest bacterial pathogens escape the human immune system by multiplying inside human cells. Those pathogens include Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Neisseria meningitides, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella Typhimurium, enteroinvasive Escherichia coli (EIEC) and Shigella flexneri. The lifestyle inside human host cells implies a profound metabolic interaction, where the bacteria hijack the host cell metabolism. The bacterial pathogens rely on nutrient supply from their host for replication, but little is known about the mechanisms behind this extensive metabolic interplay. 

Understanding metabolic cross-talk between intracellular bacteria and their host is fundamental to exploit the untapped potential of using central carbon metabolism as a drug target. We thus continuously develop hyperpolarized DNP-NMR as a new technology providing unique metabolic information. The non-invasive, real-time metabolic data are quantitative and directly amenable for identifying the most crucial enzymatic steps in pathogen metabolism. 

The survival of an infectious organism is indirectly coupled to the nutritional state of the gut and the microbiome. Focus on the microbiome and intestinal dysbiosis is becoming a notable issue in many research areas since it is linked to pathogen infection, obesity, diabetes, liver diseases, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. We thus aim to advance the knowledge from our cellular infection models into next generation organ-on-a-chip models.

Contact

Pernille Rose Jensen
Associate Professor
DTU Health Tech
+45 45 25 36 88