is estimated that about one in
every 133 Americans suffer from an autoimmune disorder called Celiac
(14, 11). Celiac Disease is a condition in which the small intestines of
affected individual cannot properly digest gliadin, a protein present
consumed, gliadin induces immune system responses, the
side-effects of which are,
but not limited to: abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, and vomiting (14).
Currently, the only accepted treatment for this disorder is adhering to
gluten-free diet (14, 12). This can be very difficult as great
food contain gluten. This inspired us to imagine an alternative
treatment based on a probiotic organism
survive and take residence in the stomach, where it would secrete an
Then the design elements of this organism should satisfy at least two main criteria. First, it should be able to survive only in the stomach; second, it should secrete an enzyme that degrades gliadin. We envision that these parts would not only be useful for our project, but also to other future projects.
We decided to focus our summer project on building the first of the two key elements required for our system:
1. Produce an inducible secretion system
2. Construct a biological pH sensor limiting this secretion system to the stomach
We want to thank Marc Facciotti for his helpful advice.
Special thanks to Suzy Fenton,Wayne Fenton, Jeanne Joe-Fenton and Wayne Fenton Jr.
Also we thank Charles H. Halsted for reviewing our material regarding celiac disease.