CholesterLock – Calgary iGEM 3 Team
A novel modified protein capable of lowering LDL cholesterol levels by inhibiting a mediator protein for cholesterol absorption called NPC1L1.
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, nearly 2 in 5 adults suffer from high cholesterol levels. This is especially significant since high cholesterol is the driving factor behind cardiovascular diseases and strokes due to the buildup of plaque in the arteries. However, current medications for high cholesterol are burdened by adverse effects that range from cumbersome to detrimental. The most common cholesterol-lowering medications, such as statins and ezetimibe, both cause patient discomfort and have been linked to drug-induced liver diseases. To provide a better alternative to these issues, we present CholesterLock; a novel modified protein capable of lowering LDL cholesterol levels by inhibiting a mediator protein for cholesterol absorption called NPC1L1. CholesterLock will be designed with a cholesterol-modified end that will bind NPC1L1 using a lock-and-key mechanism to block further collection of cholesterol and prevent it from moving into the cell. As a protein-based therapy, synthetic biology tools will be incorporated into CholesterLock to ensure high specificity and reliable localization to the small intestine, significantly reducing the potential side effects common in other cholesterol-lowering drugs. CholesterLock can also be expressed in probiotic bacteria which will reduce costs associated with pharmaceutical manufacturing. Altogether, CholesterLock will become the ideal alternative cholesterol-lowering treatment, ensuring accessibility and a higher quality of life for the patient
|Team Grade Level:||Undergrad|
|Team Experience Level:||Advanced|
|STEM Focus:||Synthetic Biology|
|UN Sustainability Focus||Good Health & Well Being|
Winner of Best Pitch – Advanced at TFC Project Pitch Showcase 2023