A Promising Biotechnological Approach for Cost-Effective Production of a Potential Diabetes Treatment
Diabetes is a chronic and progressive disease that affects millions of people worldwide and presents a significant challenge for healthcare systems. Insulin resistance, a key factor in type 2 diabetes, has been successfully cured in mice with a compound called β-nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), which restores cellular function without toxicity. However, the production of NMN is expensive, highlighting the need for more cost-effective methods.
Understanding NMN and its Potential:
NMN is a compound involved in the biosynthesis of NAD+, a coenzyme essential for various biological processes. NAD+ depletion is associated with aging and metabolic disorders like type 2 diabetes. NMN has shown promise in treating diabetes and other age-related conditions. Therefore, finding affordable ways to produce NMN is crucial for its potential as a therapeutic agent.
A Novel Biotechnological Method in Escherichia coli:
Researchers propose a biotechnological approach using Escherichia coli (E. coli) to produce NMN in a cost-effective manner. E. coli is commonly used in biotechnology due to its ability to express desired proteins. The study aimed to optimize the production of NMN by introducing genes responsible for NMN synthesis into E. coli cells.
Successful Transformation and Protein Expression:
The researchers transformed E. coli cells with the genes necessary for NMN production. The presence of the genes was confirmed, and their expression resulted in the production of the desired proteins.
Higher NMN Production in Co-Expression:
Co-expressing genes for NMN synthesis led to higher intracellular NMN concentrations compared to separate expression.
Favorable Growth Conditions:
Optimizing growth conditions, including the concentration of nicotinamide (NAM) and glucose supplementation, contributed to increased NMN production.
Best Yield Achieved:
The study reported a NMN production yield of 17.26 mg per gram of protein, which is considered the most productive method reported thus far.
Implications and Conclusion:
The proposed biotechnological production method for NMN in E. coli shows promise for lowering the production costs of this potential diabetes treatment. As the prevalence of type 2 diabetes continues to rise, cost-effective solutions are essential to make treatments more accessible. Further research and development are needed to ensure scalability and commercial viability.
Title of paper: β-nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) production in Escherichia coli
Author(s): Marinescu GC, Popescu RG, Stoian G, Dinischiotu A.
Year published: 2018
Published in: Sci Rep
Original article can be found here.