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Investigating gut microbiome and mucin O-glycan interactions in mice with colorectal cancer

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posted on 2022-10-18, 01:53 authored by Matthew Emerson

Metformin and intermittent fasting have been associated with lower colorectal cancer incidence, potentially through their effects on host molecular mechanisms. Accumulating evidence suggests a role of the gut microbiome in their anti-cancer effects, however, there is a lack of direct examinations, particularly encompassing the mucosal-adhered microbiota and colon mucus O-glycosylation. The aim of this research is to determine how metformin, intermittent fasting and a combination of both treatments alter the fecal and mucosal microbiome and O-glycosylation of colon mucin in mice with chemically induced colorectal cancer. Correlation network analysis was used to identify associations between specific gut bacteria and mucin O-glycan structures. All three treatments produced significant and distinct changes to fecal and mucosal microbial communities. Treatment specific microbiome changes were observed, encompassing reductions in the relative abundance of colorectal cancer-associated bacteria. All treatments produced significant changes in relative abundance of O-glycan structures, with significant correlations identified between O-glycan structures and gut bacteria with established associations to colon cancer. This thesis reports on the first analysis of mucosal-bound microbiota, mucin O-glycan changes and their correlations in metformin and fasting treated mice that were at risk of developing colorectal cancer.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction -- Chapter 2. Methods -- Chapter 3. Results and discussion -- Chapter 4. Conclusions and future directions -- References -- Supplementary material


A thesis submitted to Macquarie University for the degree of Master of Research

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


Thesis (MRes), Macquarie University, Faculty of Science and Engineering, 2021

Department, Centre or School

Department of Molecular Sciences

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Ian Paulsen

Additional Supervisor 1

Hasinika Gamage

Additional Supervisor 2

Sasha Tetu


Copyright: Matthew Emerson Copyright disclaimer:




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