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Computer-designed enzymes may help alleviate celiac disease

tbg58 (942837) writes | about a year ago

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tbg58 (942837) writes "Computational protein design tools have allowed researchers to create enzymes that perform functions unknown in nature. Researchers have applied the technique to develop an enzyme specifically aimed at neutralizing the peptide alpha-gliadin contained in gluten, which triggers the autoimmune attack that causes celiac disease. The design of -Gliadin Endopeptidase began with the search for a naturally occurring endopeptidase with stability in an acidic-pH environment, the reproducing and modifying the naturally occurring enzyme to have the specific structure of the designer enzyme using recombinant-DNA modified strain of e. coli.

This development is only made possible by computational cataloguing and modeling of enzymes. The resulting enzyme, given the name KumaMax, shows eventual promise as an oral enzyme therapy for celiac disease taken prior to the ingestion of gluten-containing foods. It is attractive as a non-invasive oral therapeutic which can break down over 95% of the immunogenic peptide under physiologically relevant conditions."

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