iGEM San Diego

E. Coli Capable of Extracelluar Secretion of Mycotoxin Detoxifying Enzymes
Microfungi that produce harmful mycotoxins flourish on improperly-stored nuts, grains, meat, and dairy. They especially thrive in developing countries, where the lack of advanced food storage and mycotoxin exposure causes 40% of the diseases. To lessen the problem, our team engineered E. coli strains using synthetic biology tools to produce chimeric mycotoxin-degrading fungal enzymes, Aflatoxin-Detoxifizyme (ADTZ) and Zearalenone Hydrolase (ZHD101), which are designed to be secreted to extra-cellular space by fusing with secretion signal peptides from alpha-amylase and beta-lactamase. In this study, we have successfully generated synthetic genetic materials to produce four chimeric mycotoxin-detoxifying enzymes. The levels of extracellular secretion is also characterized and analyzed. The project will allow a mass production of detoxification enzymes in cost effective way, preventing the squandering of harvested crops, and limiting mycotoxin-related diseases. Increased access to th ese proteins will have an immense commercial, industrial, agricultural, and health impact.