Microbial colonization induces histone acetylation critical for inherited gut-germline-neural signaling

Chunlan Hong, Jonathan Lalsiamthara, Jie Ren, Yu Sang, Alejandro Aballay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The gut-neural axis plays a critical role in the control of several physiological processes, including the communication of signals from the microbiome to the nervous system, which affects learning, memory, and behavior. However, the pathways involved in gut-neural signaling of gut-governed behaviors remain unclear. We found that the intestinal distension caused by the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa induces histone H4 Lys8 acetylation (H4K8ac) in the germline of Caenorhabditis elegans, which is required for both a bacterial aversion behavior and its transmission to the next generation. We show that induction of H4K8ac in the germline is essential for bacterial aversion and that a 14-3-3 chaperone protein family member, PAR-5, is required for H4K8ac. Our findings highlight a role for H4K8ac in the germline not only in the intergenerational transmission of pathogen avoidance but also in the transmission of pathogenic cues that travel through the gut-neural axis to control the aversive behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere3001169
JournalPLoS Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 31 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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