Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical compound that is used since the 1950s to produce strong and resilient plastics. These days, BPA-containing plastics are commonly used in food containers, baby bottles, and other items. The pervasiveness of this substance, along with its analogues and derivatives, has been linked to the development of endocrine and metabolic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, fatty liver disease, hyperactivity disorders or cancer. Due to its estrogen-like shape, BPA can bind to estrogen receptors and influence bodily processes, such as growth, cell repair, fetal development, energy levels, and reproduction. In addition, BPA may also interact with other hormone receptors, such as those for the thyroid, thus altering their function.
Researchers at the University of Granada have identified a microorganism (Bacillus sp. strain from the human gut microbiota), with the ability of degradation and removal of Bisphenol A. Whole Genome Sequence analysis of these bacteria, with inulinase activity, revealed the presence of a complete enzymatic, molecular and genetic arsenal, specific for endocrine disruptors degradation, such as BPA. They are capable of tolerating and metabolizing it, while using it as a carbon source.
This activity evidences this strain’s potential, either alone or in combination with others, for the production of probiotic foods and/or plant probiotics for its addition to phytosanitary compositions, taking advantage of the ability to modulate those xenobiotics, relieving its endocrine pathogenesis and/or its use in bioremediation.
The university is looking for partners in order to licence the patented technology.