Gangliosides are cell membrane components found in eukaryotic cells and highly abundant in nervous system. They are glycosphingolipids with hydrophobic lipid moiety linked to sialic acid-containing oligosaccharide. Ganglioside GM1 is present in gut epithelium and contains a sialic acid residue in its oligosaccharide head. The sugar domain is facing into the intestinal lumen and acts as receptor for V. cholerae and E. coli toxins.
Das et al. thought of using the GM1 ability to bind the cholera toxin (CT) for the production of CT scavenging elements. They created GM1-coated nanoparticles (GM1-NPs) that bind the toxin specifically and stably. The GM1 nanoparticles were tested in simulated intestinal conditions and showed to be resistant to bile acids, digestive enzymes and bacteria. In vivo study in mice showed that co-administration of GM1 nanoparticles with V. cholerae in ileum efficiently attenuated the gut response to the cholera toxin.
For more details, read the original paper published in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases: Das et al., 2018.