Recently, the result of 2023 Official iGEM Competition was released in Paris, France. The team “NUDT_CHINA” stood out from 400 teams around the world and earned a gold medal under the instruction of College of Science, NUDT. This is the ninth gold medal since 2014 when NUDT took part in the competition for the first time. Besides, the team also got nominated in Best Therapeutics Project Award. The PI Qiu Xinyuan received the Best In-Person Veteran Judge Award.
Project Title and Abstract
ARROR: a PVC-Based delivery of UCP1 into adipose tissue for efficient body weight control
In the past 50 years, significant progress has been made in managing diseases closely linked to excess body weight. However, treating obesity itself has been challenging, with medications often providing inadequate efficacy and potential safety concerns. Here, we demonstrate a novel synthetic biology-inspired therapeutic nanomachine to reduce excess body fat by effectively delivering Uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) into white adipose cells. Our results show that the engineered syringe-like Photorhabdus Virulence Cassette (PVC) nanoparticles could be loaded with UCP1 and effectively assembled in E. coli. The UCP1-loading PVCs could effectively inject UCP1 into mammalian cells in a target-dependent manner, which then induces an overall increase in cell metabolic rate. Our approach offers an exciting and promising way to reduce body fat, which can help prevent obesity-related diseases.