IGEM:IMPERIAL/2009/Degradation

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The E.ncapsulator: the disease killer
Degradation of Colanic Acid in intestinal conditions


Article [1] looked at the role of Colanic Acid (CA) production in resistance to gastric conditions (stomach, pH 2.0) as well as intestinal conditions (pH 8.0). So this paper confirms the fact that CA protects efficiently against the former. However, they also suggest that under intestinal conditions, the cell remains relatively unaffected. This could potentially mean bad news for our application. However, we need to consider the fact that they used fully viable pathogenic cells when we would be using killed cells of a non-pathogenic strain. So hopefully, that will change something. Bottom line here is we need to experiment, for which the assays still need to be done.

Even if the intestine doesn't manage to degrade effectively the colanic acid encapsulated cell, we do know that the intestine DOES damage it, just not effectively. We can therefore remediate that problem by finding -through experimentation- what optimal concentration of sodium acetate (crystalising solution used after encapsulation) that will induce effective degradation in the intestine.

Field reckons that it is the gut microflora that will actually allow for the degradation of the colanic acid layer in the intestine. James dump the evidence down here plz.

References

Error fetching PMID 16706906:
  1. Error fetching PMID 16706906: [Degradation1]


Right, colanic acid can be depolymerased by enzymes called colanases. These are naturally produced by both phages and other gut microflora such as citrobacter:

http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/120077585/PDFSTART

http://www.brenda-enzymes.org/php/result_flat.php4?ecno=3.2.1.38

http://books.google.com/books?id=rneYX9h99VwC&lpg=PA400&ots=TLnAFo33pr&dq=colanic%20acid%20phage%20cleavage&lr=&pg=PA402#v=onepage&q=colanic%20acid%20phage%20cleavage&f=false

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