Gut microbiota composition across normal range prostate-specific antigen levels

Han Na Kim, Jae Heon Kim, Yoosoo Chang, Dongmin Yang, Hyung Lae Kim, Seungho Ryu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Animal studies have shown the interaction between androgens and the gut microbiome directly and indirectly; however, limited evidence from human studies is available. To evaluate the association between prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels within the normal range, reflective of androgen receptor activity, and the gut microbiota composition, a cross-sectional analysis was performed in 759 Korean men aged between 25 and 78 years with normal PSA levels of ≤4.0 ng/mL. We evaluated the biodiversity of gut microbiota as well as the taxonomic and functional signatures associated with PSA levels using 16S rRNA gene sequencing data. PSA levels within the normal range were categorized into three groups: lowest quartile (G1), interquartile range (G2, reference), and highest quartile (G3). The G3 group had higher microbial richness than the G2 group, although it was dominated by a few bacteria. An increase in Escherichia/Shigella abundance and a reduction in Megamonas abundance in the G3 group were also detected. A U-shaped relationship was observed between the three groups across most analyses, including biodiversity, taxonomic composition, and inferred pathways in the gut microbiota. This study showed different microbiota patterns across PSA levels within the normal range. Further studies are required to elucidate the role of microbiota in regulating PSA levels.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1381
JournalJournal of Personalized Medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the Soonchunhyang University Research Fund and National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (MSIT) (NRF-2020R1A2C1012931). The funding sources had no role in the study design, data analysis, interpretation of the results, or writing of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • 16S rRNA
  • Androgen receptor activity
  • Gut microbiota
  • Prostate-specific antigen


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