Research ArticleCELL ENGINEERING

A green tea–triggered genetic control system for treating diabetes in mice and monkeys

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Science Translational Medicine  23 Oct 2019:
Vol. 11, Issue 515, eaav8826
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aav8826

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Tea for type 1 and type 2 diabetes

Cell therapy is a promising approach for diabetes. Yin et al. developed an elegant control system by engineering cells to respond to protocatechuic acid, a metabolite in green tea. Orally ingested protocatechuic acid regulated blood glucose by triggering secretion of insulin or a short variant of human glucagon-like peptide 1 from implanted engineered cells in mouse and nonhuman primate models of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. This study demonstrates the versatility of synthetic biology for developing remotely controlled cell-based therapies for diabetes.

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