Intestinal alkaline phosphatase promotes gut bacterial growth by reducing the concentration of luminal nucleotide triphosphates

Madhu S. Malo, Omeed Moaven, Nur Muhammad, Brishti Biswas, Sayeda N Alam, Konstantinos P. Economopoulos, Sarah Shireen Gul, Sulaiman R. Hamarneh, Nondita S. Malo, Abeba Teshager, Mussa M. Rafat Mohamed, Qingsong Tao, Sonoko Narisawa, Jose Luis Millan, Elizabeth L. Hohmann, H. Shaw Warren, Simon C Robson, Richard A. Hodin


The intestinal microbiota plays a pivotal role in maintaining human health and well-being. Previously, we have shown that mice deficient in the brush-border enzyme intestinal alkaline phosphatase (IAP) suffer from dysbiosis and that oral IAP supplementation normalizes the gut flora. Here we aimed to decipher the molecular mechanism by which IAP promotes bacterial growth. We used an isolated mouse intestinal loop model to directly examine the effect of exogenous IAP on the growth of specific intestinal bacterial species. We studied the effects of various IAP targets on the growth of stool aerobic and anaerobic bacteria as well as on a few specific gut organisms. We determined the effects of ATP and other nucleotides on bacterial growth. Further, we examined the effects of IAP on reversing the inhibitory effects of nucleotides on bacterial growth. We have confirmed that local IAP bioactivity creates a luminal environment that promotes the growth of a wide range of commensal organisms. IAP promotes the growth of stool aerobic and anaerobic bacteria and appears to exert its growth promoting effects by inactivating (dephosphorylating) luminal ATP and other luminal nucleotide triphosphates. We observed that compared to wild-type mice, IAP-knockout mice have more ATP in their luminal contents, and exogenous IAP can reverse the ATP-mediated inhibition of bacterial growth in the isolated intestinal loop. In conclusion, IAP appears to promote the growth of intestinal commensal bacteria by inhibiting the concentration of luminal nucleotide triphosphates.

  • Gut flora
  • microbiotal homeostasis
  • dysbiosis
  • lipopolysaccharide
  • intestinal loop model