Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genetically Engineered Bacteria Are Sweet Success Against Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Date:
August 21, 2009
Source:
Norwich BioScience Institutes
Summary:
For the first time, scientists have used a genetically engineered "friendly" bacterium to deliver a therapy. The treatment is for bowel disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease for which there is no cure. The bacterium Bacteroides ovatus activates a protein when exposed to a specific sugar, xylan. The therapy has been proven to work in animals with colitis, one of the major forms of inflammatory bowel disease.

For the first time, scientists have used a genetically engineered "friendly" bacterium to deliver a therapy.

The treatment is for bowel disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease, which affects one in 400 people in the UK and for which there is no cure. The bacterium Bacteroides ovatus activates a protein when exposed to a specific type of sugar, xylan. In research to be published in Gut, the therapy has been proven to work in animals with colitis, one of the major forms of inflammatory bowel disease.

The bacterium is able to deliver the protein, a human growth factor called KGF-2, directly to the damaged cells that line the gut, unlike other treatments which can cause unwanted side effects. Also unlike other treatments, it is envisaged that patients will be able to control the medication themselves by ingesting xylan, perhaps in the form of a drink.

"This is the first time that anyone has been able to control a therapeutic protein in a living system using something that can be eaten," said Professor Simon Carding of the Institute of Food Research and the University of East Anglia Medical School, lead author on the research. "The beneficial bugs could be activated when they are needed."

The treatment had a significant therapeutic effect. For example, it reduced rectal bleeding, accelerated the healing of the gut lining, and reduced inflammation. It was also able to prevent the onset of disease.

"The bacterium is being used to produce other protein molecules to treat various bowel disorders and we are now applying for funding to try out the bug in humans," said Dr. Zaed Hamady, an MRC Research Fellow at Leeds University.

Since genetic engineering techniques were developed in the 1970s, scientists have found ways to apply them to medicine. Insulin was the first medicine to be genetically engineered and the first genetically engineered vaccine was for hepatitis B. The technology is now opening up ways to deliver drugs to specific targets, as with this treatment to deliver a protein directly to injured areas of the gut.

"Initially I envisage this being an adjunct therapy to patients' existing medicine, but eventually it could be the sole therapy," said Professor Carding. "Once our bugs are in the colon they could be activated when needed so we aim to use our bugs to prevent disease or relapse in IBD."

The work was funded by a grant from the Medical Research Council and the Royal College of Surgeons, and by Techtran. The Institute of Food Research is an institute of Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Norwich BioScience Institutes. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Z Z R Hamady, N Scott, M D Farrar, J P A Lodge, K T Holland, T Whitehead, S R Carding. Xylan-regulated delivery of human keratinocyte growth factor-2 to the inflamed colon by the human anaerobic commensal bacterium Bacteroides ovatus. GUT, 21st August 2009 [link]

Cite This Page:

Norwich BioScience Institutes. "Genetically Engineered Bacteria Are Sweet Success Against Inflammatory Bowel Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090820204456.htm>.
Norwich BioScience Institutes. (2009, August 21). Genetically Engineered Bacteria Are Sweet Success Against Inflammatory Bowel Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090820204456.htm
Norwich BioScience Institutes. "Genetically Engineered Bacteria Are Sweet Success Against Inflammatory Bowel Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090820204456.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins