We were delighted to participate in the fifth Conference of China iGEMer Community (CCiC) on August 27th to August 31st, which was hosted by ShanghaiTech University this year. In total, 13 team members of our team took part in this grand meeting, presenting our project to 63 teams from all over China. As a result of this meet-up, we stayed in touch with the 2018 iGEM team Tongji_China and NEU_China_A. We also worked with ShanghaiTech and RDFZ-China. Further collaborations are noted below.
Fig 1. Group photo took on the fifth CCiC by ShanghaiTech University
This year, Tongji_China use the Type III secretion system (T3SS) to deliver neoantigens of colorectal cancer into immune system to active the immune response. When it comes into application, they try to make their engineered attenuated bacteria into capsules. Since our team also prepared to put our engineered E.coli into capsules, we helped each other make the products. Tongji_China offered us the enteric capsules while our team engineered the bacteria into dry powder and then wrap the powder into capsules on the lab bench. In addition, in order to learn more about the medicine industry to help us make a better product, we visit Roche, the world’s largest biotech company and also the global leader in cancer treatments. We talked about the colon cancer and how to choose a suitable pharmaceutical preparation. Visit their website
Fig 2. Tongji_China and our team members visiting Roche
Fig 3. ECHO capsule we made with Tongji_China.
We stay in close contact with NEU_China_A because our projects all focus on colon-related diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colorectal cancer (CRC). NEU_China_A provided us with E.coli Nissle 1917. Since this strain can target the cancer cells without any further processing, it is the ideal chassis for our project. NEU_China_A also gave us plasmids containing gene norR, which can express NorR protein to help the norV promotor function well. In our project, we use the norR promotor to sense the level of nitric oxide and then produce azurin to kill cancer cells. In return, we gave them the colon cancer cell line HT29 to test their system and also the nitrate and nitrite sensitive promoter Pyear with a GFP in 2018 Distribution Kit Plates( BBa_K381001).Visit their website
Fig 4. Our team member sending HT29 to the student leader of NEU_China_A on CCiC
ShanghaiTech built a system to minimize the unpredictable disturbances and stabilize the expression of genetic circuits this year. In this system which employs feedforward control they use STAR RNA as the second module to continue trigger the next module. Our team has worked with STAR system in last year’s projects so we gave the plasmid to them. Moreover, they faced some problems transforming the bacteria which were used for the 2018 interlab study so we inoculated colonies from our own plates and sent the culture to them.Visit their website
RDFZ-China is a great help to our team. They provided us with plasmids expressing acoustic reporter genes, arg1 and arg2. We use them to report the location of cancer foci combining with ultrasound. They also applied the gas vesicle genes in their project, trying to perform noninvasive monitoring of the bacteria, so we shared the protocol and according instrument’s parameters with them. Besides, since we all took part in the fifth CCiC, we made a meeting there and offered a lot of advice to each other.Visit their website
This year is the first year for CSU_CHINA to participate in iGEM so we communicated through video conference talking about how to organize a team and what is the key point during the whole competition season. We also presented projects to each other and got a lot of helpful advice.Visit their website