Oxidative stress is a kind of response that is formed through the imbalance between reactive oxygen species and the antioxidant system. Normally, this response would produce free radicals and peroxides, which would cause damage to redox signaling, while free radicals would affect the ability of our hippocampus and make us weak on many affective disturbances and the effect on redox signaling will make our body weak on sensing and recovering from those damages caused by oxidative stress. Thus, due to the consequence that oxidative stress would make people weak on facing emotional disturbances as well as hard to recover from it, it is very likely that oxidative stress is a crucial factor in depression.
Antioxidants are molecules that are able to slow down or even stop oxidation, these molecules can help eliminate free radicals and usually act as reducing agents. For instance, efeB, which is a gene that coded an antioxidant enzyme we used within our product, can help restrain oxidative stress and help patients recover from depression.
What do our product do to help treat depression
Oxidative stress has been shown as a critical factor that causes depression, thus we chose antioxidant enzymes as the core of our product. By letting efeB gets coded and produces the antioxidant enzyme, it is able to reduce the oxidation level, which would help ease the damage to the hippocampus and help redox signals to work normally, as a consequence, the patients would be able to respond to emotional disturbance healthily and depression gets treated. Besides, using the antioxidant enzyme as the core of our product has lesser side effects, but also has the ability of skincare and liver protection.
How do we make our product possible
As a type of health care product, we should give priority to safety. Thus, we chose to use E.Coli - DH5α, the most popular used strain as our engineering bacteria in the early stage of product development. In order for our strain to secret the expected enzyme after entering the human body, we constructed the plasmid by combining the efeB gene. Besides the efeB gene, we also decided to combine the amilGFP gene which is a reporter gene to emit fluorescence so that we can check whether the strains are doing their jobs or not.