Interactions between bacteria and colon cancer cells influence the transcription of the host cell. Yet is it undetermined whether the bacteria itself or the communication between the host and bacteria is responsible for the genomic changes in the eukaryotic cell. Now, we have investigated the genomic and epigenetic consequences of co-culturing colorectal carcinoma cells with membrane vesicles from pathogenic bacteria Vibrio cholerae and non-pathogenic commensal bacteria Escherichia coli. Our study reveals that membrane vesicles from pathogenic and commensal bacteria have a global impact on the gene expression of colon-carcinoma cells. The changes in gene expression correlate positively with both epigenetic changes and chromatin accessibility of promoters at transcription start sites of genes induced by both types of membrane vesicles. Moreover, we have demonstrated that membrane vesicles obtained only from V. cholerae induced the expression of genes associated with epithelial cell differentiation. Altogether, our study suggests that the observed genomic changes in host cells might be due to specific components of membrane vesicles and do not require communication by direct contact with the bacteria.
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