L-Fucose is involved in human–gut microbiome interactions

Jungyeon Kim, Yong Su Jin, Kyoung Heon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract: L-Fucose is one of the key metabolites in human–gut microbiome interactions. It is continuously synthesized by humans in the form of fucosylated glycans and fucosyl-oligosaccharides and delivered into the gut throughout their lifetime. Gut microorganisms metabolize L-fucose and produce short-chain fatty acids, which are absorbed by epithelial cells and used as energy sources or signaling molecules. Recent studies have revealed that the carbon flux in L-fucose metabolism by gut microorganisms is distinct from that in other sugar metabolisms because of cofactor imbalance and low efficiencies in energy synthesis of L-fucose metabolism. The large amounts of short-chain fatty acids produced during microbial L-fucose metabolism are used by epithelial cells to recover most of the energy used up during L-fucose synthesis. In this review, we present a detailed overview of microbial L-fucose metabolism and a potential solution for disease treatment and prevention using genetically engineered probiotics that modulate fucose metabolism. Our review contributes to the understanding of human–gut microbiome interactions through L-fucose metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3869-3875
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jun

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Korea Institute of Planning and Evaluation for Technology in Food, Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (32136-05-1-SB010) and Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (20018132). KHK also received grant support from the Korea University and Food Safety Hall for the Institute of Biomedical Science and Food Safety, Korea University.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


  • Epithelial cells
  • Gut microbiome
  • L-Fucose
  • Short-chain fatty acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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