(100c) In Vivo Biosensing Platform for Detection of Complex Human Milk Oligosaccharides

Enam, F., Iowa State University
Mansell, T. J., Iowa State University
Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) are prebiotic compounds found in breast milk that favor the growth of beneficial bacteria in the infant gut. While there are many efforts underway to synthesize these beneficial complex carbohydrates, the current standards for their detection are the relatively low-throughput chromatographic methods or mass spectrometry. We present a high-throughput, fluorescence-based detection system for HMOs in vivo in E. coli (Enam and Mansell, Cell Chemical Biology, 2018). Such high-throughput systems facilitate directed evolution and enables a streamlined synthesis process for prebiotics with a significant reduction in analysis time of new producer strains. We also present combinatorial approaches towards construction of elements for detection of more complex HMOs. Additionally, the reporter enables the use of HMOs as orthogonal inducers of cellular circuits in synthetic biological applications.