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Can beta-endorphin be made transgenically and be taken recreationally?
Q: As per my understanding, beta-endorphin is the endogenous opioid protein responsible for a particular euphoria (involving this system). Since this is a protein of known sequence, and can be made by a DNA transcription, I have an interest in introducing this sequence into a bacteria using standard plasmid-transfer procedures. If this could be accomplished successfully (and from what I've seen in the literature, it has been done) would the beta-endorphin be pharmacologically active by ingestion? injection? What is the the best way for a delicate protein to be administered as a recreational drug?

A: It would be a very simple matter to transfer the DNA sequence of beta-endorphin into bacteria and have them work as synthesizing factories. However, taking the protein orally would destroy the protein by means of the extremely acidic and protease-containing environment of the stomach. Injecting it won't do anything either, because proteins are generally too big and too charged to penetrate through the layered membrane "blood-brain barrier". So yes, you could make it, but it would likely have no recreational value.



Asked By : brdrline
Answered By : psilo
Published Date : 2 / 28 / 2002
Last Edited Date : 2 / 28 / 2002
Question ID : 2948

Categories: [ Opiates ] [ Pharmacology ]

Ask Erowid v1.7 - Jul, 2005

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