Engineered Skin Bacteria Are Able to Produce and Secrete Molecules to Treat Acne

An experimental study led by the Translational Synthetic Biology Laboratory of Pompeu Fabra University has shown that a type of skin bacterium can efficiently be engineered to produce a protein to regulate sebum production. This application could possibly be used to treat acne, after additional testing.

International research led by the Translational Synthetic Biology Laboratory of the Department of Medicine and Life Sciences (MELIS) at Pompeu Fabra University has succeeded in efficiently engineering Cutibacterium acnes - a type of skin bacterium - to produce and secrete a therapeutic molecule suitable for treating acne symptoms. The engineered bacterium has been validated in skin cell lines and its delivery has been validated in mice. This finding opens the door to broadening the way for engineering non-tractable bacteria to address skin alterations and other diseases using living therapeutics. The research team is completed by scientists from the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (Idibell), the University of Barcelona, the Protein Technologies Facility of the Centre for Genomic Regulation, Phenocell SAS, Medizinische Hochschule Brandenburg Theodor Fontane, Lund University, and Aarhus University.

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