Food Science and Technology Department


Date of this Version



July 2011. The FASEB Journal vol. 25 no. 7, pp. 2492-2499


US government work


Colonization of the gastrointestinal tract and composition of the microbiota may be influenced by components of the diet, including trace elements. To understand how selenium regulates the intestinal microflora, we used high-throughput sequencing to examine the composition of gut microbiota of mice maintained on selenium-deficient, selenium-sufficient, and selenium-enriched diets. The microbiota diversity increased as a result of selenium in the diet. Specific phylotypes showed differential effects of selenium, even within a genus, implying that selenium had unique effects across microbial taxa. Conventionalized germfree mice subjected to selenium diets gave similar results and showed an increased diversity of the bacterial population in animals fed with higher levels of selenium. Germ-free mice fed selenium diets modified their selenoproteome expression similar to control mice but showed higher levels and activity of glutathione peroxidase 1 and methionine-R-sulfoxide reductase 1 in the liver, suggesting partial sequestration of selenium by the gut microorganisms, limiting its availability for the host. These changes in the selenium status were independent of the levels of other trace elements. The data show that dietary selenium affects both composition of the intestinal microflora and colonization of the gastrointestinal tract, which, in turn, influence the host selenium status and selenoproteome expression.—Kasaikina, M. V., Kravtsova, M. A., Lee, B. C., Seravalli, J., Peterson, D. A., Walter, J., Legge, R., Benson, A. K., Hatfield, D. L., Gladyshev, V. N. Dietary selenium affects host selenoproteome expression by influencing the gut microbiota. FASEB J. 25, 2492–2499 (2011).

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