Enzyme Inhibition - 2016

Enzyme Inihibition using Plant Extracts - Capturing Urease to Conquer H.pylori

With present day health concerns rising, the development for a cure to disease with minimal or no side effects is always at top priority. Though, what makes the cancer cells and ulcers is still unclear, my projects radiates light on identifying a special guard that could possibly make a human stomach be at peace and protect from disease. Each and every second there is some new bacteria that is been mutated, creating a dangerous world around us. Recent innovations in biology have brought us to the rise of antibiotics but research also suggests that these antibiotics are disrupting the way enzymes work causing major side effects to the whole system. It is therefore extremely important to identify an alternate approach to find a solution that could possibly have no side effects and works best for cure.

“Yesterday is History”-How the urease enzyme and its products affect stomach and bacteria is a fact that remains in history. “Tomorrow is Mystery”-When the assembly-line workers like the enzymes in the complex factory of each cell, are tired of making chemical reactions efficiently, it is always a mystery about the emerging disease in the future. “Today is a Gift” –Implementing a way to protect the human system by identifying the food group that contains a group of phytochemicals known as glucosinolates that have the ability to help enhance the process of enzyme inhibition and can in-turn prevent and protect the body from stomach diseases.

One major problem-causing bacterium for various stomach related diseases is Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). It survives and thrives in acidic environments in the stomach, specifically the gastric mucosa. It is the cause of conditions like gastritis, ulcers, stomach cancer, and certain types of lymphoma. An important enzyme that helps H.pylori grow is Urease. This enzyme produces two highly acidic components in the stomach environment, ammonia and carbon dioxide. Enzyme Inhibition is an important mechanism for regulating these biological reactions there by reducing the acidic environment and detoxifying the system.

This project follows the discovery of the finding of plant extracts high in sulforaphane and glucosinolates. These two chemical compounds have been found to be preventive of cancer and other stomach diseases. Ureolytic activity of urease allows H. pylori to thrive in the acidic environment of the stomach and cause gastric diseases. Conventional therapies to manage H. pylori infections are often expensive, and have serious side effects. Therefore, there is a need for better, non-toxic, cost-effective agents targeting urease to treat H. pylori infections. In this project 10 samples (one control and 9 samples with plant extracts high in sulforaphane) were compared for the lowest absorbance. The lower the absorbance, the more the urease enzyme was inhibited. The project was designed in order to see which plant extract inhibits the urease enzyme the best. Based on the result a test was made to see how it should be consumed for highest inhibition. It was analyzed to see if there is a difference between organic and conventional extracts inhibiting activity. It was further investigated to see how the pH of different plant extracts solution affects the urease enzyme’s productivity. Additionally, this project also identifies whether or not the source of urease affects enzyme inhibition by comparing two different source of urease. The test proved that the higher a plant extract is in sulforaphane and glucosinolates, the more disease-preventive it is. It also proved that plant extracts are a safe, natural cure for H. pylori. Therefore, this project encourages a healthy lifestyle and a natural way to eradicate the disease.

Project Snapshot
  • Excellence in Biotechnology Award from NC Biotechnology Center
  • Discovery Place Award
  • Nomination into Broadcom Master’s Program
  • American Chemical Society Award from American Chemical Society, Chemistry of life
  • First Place in Junior Biological Science Category
  • Winner at the North Carolina Student Association of Sciences
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