Perturbed gut microbiome development has been linked to childhood malnutrition. Here, we characterize bacterial Toll/interleukin-1 receptor (TIR) protein domains that metabolize nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), a co-enzyme with far-reaching effects on human physiology. A consortium of 26 human gut bacterial strains, representing the diversity of TIRs observed in the microbiome and the NAD hydrolase (NADase) activities of a subset of 152 bacterial TIRs assayed in vitro, was introduced into germ-free mice. Integrating mass spectrometry and microbial RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) with consortium membership manipulation disclosed that a variant of cyclic-ADPR (v-cADPR-x) is a specific product of TIR NADase activity and a prominent, colonization-discriminatory, taxon-specific metabolite. Guided by bioinformatic analyses of biochemically validated TIRs, we find that acute malnutrition is associated with decreased fecal levels of genes encoding TIRs known or predicted to generate v-cADPR-x, as well as decreased levels of the metabolite itself. These results underscore the need to consider microbiome TIR NADases when evaluating NAD metabolism in the human holobiont.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110738
JournalCell Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 26 2022


  • CP: Microbiology
  • NAD metabolism
  • TIR domain structure/activity relationships
  • childhood malnutrition
  • defined microbial communities
  • gnotobiotic mice
  • human gut microbiome development/functional profiling


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