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The Role of Bacteria in Drug Metabolism

Abhinav Bhushan, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology)

Location: E353a

Date: Wednesday, May 1

Time: 2:15pm - 3:00pm

Track: Bio-Processing Symposium

Vault Recording: TBD

The trillions of microbes that inhabit our intestines regulate important biochemical factors. Recent studies have highlighted another important aspect that bacteria modulate – metabolism of drugs. We now know that a few dozen drugs including acetaminophen are modified by bacteria, some inhabiting our intestines, some present in probiotics. However, we still lack a systematic ability to evaluate and quantify the role of bacteria in regulating drug metabolizing enzymes. One reason is the challenges of setting up an experimental system that can study intestinal-bacterial interactions.

We have developed a novel experimental platform to study these interactions, using which we quantified the regulatory changes in phase I drug metabolizing enzymes as well as the activity of important cytochrome P450s.

The major findings are that (1) specific differences exist in the regulation and activity of different classes of phase I enzymes, (2) regulation of the various cytochrome P450 enzymes appears to be unique, and (3) communication between the bacteria and the colon cells is required for modulation of enzymatic activity.
This first study of its kind can shed valuable insight into the drug development process. For example, this knowledge can help a priori design of therapeutics or stratify patients in clinical trials.

Presentation File

The_Role_of_Bacteria_in_Drug_Metabolism.pdf