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Uric acid degrading bacteria in the gut: A promising strategy to control hyperuricemia

Abstract
Hyperuricemia and gout are conditions characterized by an excess buildup of uric acid in the human body. Through purine degradation facilitated by purine metabolizing enzymes such as xanthine oxidase, uric acid is produced as the terminal metabolite. This is due to the evolutionary loss of the uricase enzyme in humans responsible for degrading uric acid any further. This reality leads to complications due to the increasing prevalence of high purine diets consisting primarily of red meats, seafood, mushrooms, beer, and some vegetables. As purine consumption has increased, the prevalence of gout and hyperuricemia has also increased. Both conditions lead to complications such as inflammation and crystallization of uric acid in joints and the urinary tract due to its low solubility in human serum and urine. The goal of this research is to discover and isolate members of the gut microbiome capable of interacting with and degrading uric acid. Since approximately 30% of uric acid excreted as waste is removed through the gastrointestinal tract, there is a potential for members of the microbiome to degrade uric acid and prevent reabsorption in the large intestine.
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