Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Biology

Degree Type

Master of Science


Intestinal bile acid 7α-dehydroxylating bacteria have recently been implicated in cholesterol allstone disease. Eubacterium sp. V.P.I. 12708, a bile acid 7α-dehydroxylating bacterium, contains multiple bile acid inducible (bai) genes which encode the enzymes responsible for bile acid 7a-dehydroxylation. The baiE gene encodes a bile acid dehydratase activity in Eubacterium sp.V.P.I. 12708. Using the polymerase chain reaction assay we determined the presence or absence of baiE-like genes in five clostridial bile-acid 7α-dehydroxylating strains: Clostridium sp. TO-931, Clostridium sp. HD-17, Clostridium sp. TN-271, Clostridium bifermentans 1-55, and Clostridium sordellii ATCC 9714. Results from all the strains tested showed amplification at the predicted DNA fragment size. Partial DNA sequence analysis of the amplified baiE-like genes revealed 88-95% homology with the baiE gene of Eubacterium sp.V.P.I. 12708. These data suggest that baiE-like genes are present in the five bile acid 7α-dehydroxylating strains studied.


Biochemistry | Biology