We are engineering E.coli to treat autoimmune disease. We have created a system to accurately determine and control the balance of immune cells in the gut. Our device detects the proportion of populations of Th17 cells and Treg cells and produces specific amounts of an immune suppressor to prevent an autoimmune and an immunodeficient state. The device will detect NO (representative of Th17 population) and respond by producing a relevant amount of IL10. IL10 promotes Treg population growth and inhibits Th17 population growth. NO will be detected by a SoxR/S system. To prevent the population of Treg cells becoming too great and creating an immunodeficient state we have created a mechanism to detect and respond to Treg population growth. Adenosine is representative of Treg cell populations. We are adding a hydrolase to the outer membrane to break down Adenosine into Adenine. Adenine will activate a riboswitch which will allow sRNA to be transcribed, this will prevent IL10 from being translated and so acting as an off switch.
Our wiki is still under construction, please go to the project description section for more details about our research