Novel insights into microbiome in colitis and colorectal cancer

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Purpose of review

Microbiota is a major player in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and colorectal cancer (CRC). Here, we summarize the key advances achieved in the past 18 months (ending June 2017) toward a better understanding of the role of microbiota in colitis and CRC development.

Recent findings

Accumulating evidence shows the essential role of intestinal barrier function (e.g. mucus, IgA, LCN2, LYPD8) in protecting against bacteria-induced inflammation and tumor development. Numerous signaling pathways (e.g. TLRs and NLRs), metabolites (e.g. indole, bile acids, retinoic acid) and small noncoding RNAs (e.g. miRNA) have been identified as key mediators regulating host–microbe interactions in the intestine. Novel microbial drivers of colitis and tumorigenesis (e.g. Alistipes finegoldii, Atopobium parvalum, Peptostreptococcus anaerobius) have been identified and their disease-promoting activities have been described.


IBD-associated colorectal cancer results from a complex breakdown of communication between the host and its microbiota, involving barrier function, immune signaling and metabolites.

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