Obesity is a major problem worldwide and severely affects public safety. As a metabolite of gut microbiota, endogenous butyric acid participates in energy and material metabolism. Considering the serious side effects and weight regain associated with existing weight loss interventions, novel strategies are urgently needed for prevention and treatment of obesity.
In the present study, we engineered Bacillus subtilis SCK6 to exhibited enhanced butyric acid production. Compared to the original Bacillus subtilis SCK6 strain, the genetically modified BsS-RS06550 strain had higher butyric acid production. The mice were randomly divided into four groups: a normal diet (C) group, a high-fat diet (HFD) group, an HFD + Bacillus subtilis SCK6 (HS) group and an HFD + BsS-RS06550 (HE) group. The results showed BsS-RS06550 decreased the body weight, body weight gain, and food intake of HFD mice. BsS-RS06550 had beneficial effects on blood glucose, insulin resistance and hepatic biochemistry. After the 14-week of experiment, fecal samples were collected for nontargeted liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis to identify and quantify significant changes in metabolites. Sixteen potentially significant metabolites were screened, and BsS-RS06550 was shown to potentially regulate disorders in glutathione, methionine, tyrosine, phenylalanine, and purine metabolism and secondary bile acid biosynthesis.
In this study, we successfully engineered Bacillus subtilis SCK6 to have enhanced butyric acid production. The results of this work revealed that the genetically modified live bacterium BsS-RS06550 showed potential anti-obesity effects, which may have been related to regulating the levels of metabolites associated with obesity. These results indicate that the use of BsS-RS06550 may be a promising strategy to attenuate obesity.