Enzymes against caries
Our iGEM Team 2023
Our current project DentoZym deals with the degradation of biofilms. Thereby, we put a special focus on biofilms in the oral cavity that contribute to caries formation. These biofilms are to be destroyed by a combination of different enzymes, antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) and antimicrobial lipids (AMLs). The target of the enzymes are extracellular polysaccharides (EPS). These are produced by the bacteria in the biofilm and are of great importance for the integrity of the biofilm. By destroying the EPS, the bacterial cells are released from the biofilm on the tooth surface and thus become attackable or killable by the AMPs. The AMLs now prevent new biofilms from forming via various mechanisms. Thus, DentoZym is designed to prevent or stop the formation of caries at any stage of biofilm or caries formation. The various components of DentoZym could be applied, for example, through a chewing gum.