Cosmc is an X-linked inflammatory bowel disease risk gene that spatially regulates gut microbiota and contributes to sex-specific risk.
Journal: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
Date: 2016 Dec 20
Major Program(s) or Research Group(s): GLYCO
PubMed ID: 27930307
PMC ID: PMC5187739
Abstract: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) results from aberrant immune stimulation against a dysbiotic mucosal but relatively preserved luminal microbiota and preferentially affects males in early onset disease. However, factors contributing to sex-specific risk and the pattern of dysbiosis are largely unexplored. Core 1 β3GalT-specific molecular chaperone (Cosmc), which encodes an X-linked chaperone important for glycocalyx formation, was recently identified as an IBD risk factor by genome-wide association study. We deleted Cosmc in mouse intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) and found marked reduction of microbiota diversity in progression from the proximal to the distal gut mucosa, but not in the overlying lumen, as seen in IBD. This loss of diversity coincided with local emergence of a proinflammatory pathobiont and distal gut restricted pathology. Mechanistically, we found that Cosmc regulates host genes, bacterial ligands, and nutrient availability to control microbiota biogeography. Loss of one Cosmc allele in males (IEC-Cosmc-/y) resulted in a compromised mucus layer, spontaneous microbe-dependent inflammation, and enhanced experimental colitis; however, females with loss of one allele and mosaic deletion of Cosmc in 50% of crypts (IEC-Cosmc+/-) were protected from spontaneous inflammation and partially protected from experimental colitis, likely due to lateral migration of normal mucin glycocalyx from WT cells over KO crypts. These studies functionally validate Cosmc as an IBD risk factor and implicate it in regulating the spatial pattern of dysbiosis and sex bias in IBD.