IGEM:The Citadel/Project

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The 2010 Citadel-Charleston Team is interested in the production of satiety peptides by intestinal prokaryotes. Our project is to engineer an E.coli chassis to express PYY(3-36), a peptide naturally produced by eukaryotic ileum and colon cells and responsible for the regulation of hunger. Synthesis of this peptide by local microflora would provide a potentially valuable tool for controlling appetite.

We are implementing an AHL-AiiA quorum sensing system coupled with the expression of a poison peptide to strictly regulate colony population size and establish an upper limit to the total amount of PYY generated. We are also exploring mechanisms for the secretion of the protein into the extracellular space, for the prevention of mutation and genetic transfer, and for the time-based release of our protein. Our goal is to provide a proof-of-principle for the basic components of a chassis designed to regulate appetite from within the gut and to demonstrate that a safe and effective in vivo delivery system for neurologically relevant peptides is a compelling direction for research and development.