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Engineering of lactic acid bacteria for delivery of therapeutic proteins and peptides

Plavec, Tina Vida, Berlec, Aleš
Applied microbiology and biotechnology 2019 v.103 no.5 pp. 2053-2066
Lactobacillus, Lactococcus, autoimmune diseases, biopharmaceuticals, food industry, health effects assessments, inflammatory bowel disease, lactic acid bacteria, neoplasms, peptides, synthetic biology, therapeutics
Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) have a long-term history of use in food industry and are becoming attractive for use in therapy on account of their safety, intrinsic beneficial health effects, and considerable biotechnological potential. The established systems for engineering are combined with novel approaches, such as CRISPR-Cas, to enable the use of LAB as vectors for delivery of various therapeutic molecules. The latter are either secreted or surface displayed and can be used for the treatment or prevention of numerous conditions: inflammatory bowel diseases, infections, autoimmune diseases, and even cancer. This review presents some recent data on engineering of LAB, with the emphasis on the most commonly used genera Lactococcus and Lactobacillus. Their use for the delivery of therapeutic proteins is discussed, while a special focus is given to the delivery of therapeutic peptides. Therapeutically relevant improvements of engineered LAB, such as containment systems, ability to visualize bacteria, or target specific host cells are also addressed. Future engineering of LAB for therapy will adopt the capabilities of synthetic biology, with first examples already emerging.