New UCLA-developed device transfers mitochondria into 100,000 or more recipient cells



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Scientists from the UCLA Jonsson Complete Most cancers Middle have developed a easy, high-throughput methodology for transferring remoted mitochondria and their related mitochondrial DNA into mammalian cells. This strategy permits researchers to tailor a key genetic element of cells, to check and probably deal with debilitating illnesses similar to most cancers, diabetes and metabolic issues.

A examine, printed as we speak within the journal Cell Studies, describes how the brand new UCLA-developed machine, referred to as MitoPunch, transfers mitochondria into 100,000 or extra recipient cells concurrently, which is a major enchancment from current mitochondrial switch applied sciences. The machine is a part of the continued effort by UCLA scientists to grasp mutations in mitochondrial DNA by growing managed, manipulative approaches that enhance the perform of human cells or mannequin human mitochondrial illnesses higher.

The flexibility to generate cells with desired mitochondrial DNA sequences is highly effective for learning how genomes within the mitochondria and nucleus work together to control cell capabilities, which could be vital for understanding and probably treating illnesses in sufferers.”


Alexander Sercel, Doctoral Candidate, David Geffen College of Drugs, UCLA and Examine’s Co-First Writer

Mitochondria, typically generally known as the ‘powerplant’ of a cell, are inherited from an individual’s mom. They depend on the integrity of the mitochondrial DNA to carry out their important capabilities. Inherited or acquired mutations of the mitochondrial DNA can considerably impair vitality manufacturing and should lead to debilitating illnesses.

Applied sciences for manipulating mitochondrial DNA lag behind advances for manipulating DNA within the nucleus of a cell and will probably assist scientists develop illness fashions and regenerative therapies for issues brought on by these mutations. Present approaches, nevertheless, are restricted and sophisticated, and for probably the most half can solely ship mitochondria with desired mitochondrial DNA sequences right into a restricted quantity and number of cells.

The MitoPunch machine is straightforward to function and permits for constant mitochondrial transfers from a variety of mitochondria remoted from totally different donor cell varieties into a large number of recipient cell varieties, even for non-human species, together with for cells remoted from mice.

“What units MitoPunch other than different applied sciences is a capability to engineer non-immortal, non-malignant cells, similar to human pores and skin cells, to generate distinctive mitochondrial DNA-nuclear genome mixtures,” mentioned co-first writer Alexander Patananan, a UCLA postdoctoral scholar, who now works at Amgen. “This advance allowed us to check the influence of particular mitochondrial DNA sequences on cell capabilities by additionally enabling the reprogramming of those cells into induced pluripotent stem cells that had been then differentiated into functioning fats, cartilage, and bone cells.”

MitoPunch was created within the labs of Dr. Michael Teitell, director of the Jonsson Most cancers Middle and professor of pathology and laboratory drugs, Pei-Yu (Eric) Chiou, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering on the UCLA Henry Samueli College of Engineering and Utilized Science, and Ting-Hsiang Wu, from ImmunityBio, Inc., Culver Metropolis, CA.

MitoPunch builds upon prior know-how and a tool referred to as a photothermal nanoblade, which the staff developed in 2016. However not like the photothermal nanoblade, which requires refined lasers and optical methods to function, MitoPunch works through the use of strain to propel an remoted mitochondrial suspension by a porous membrane coated with cells. The researchers suggest that this utilized strain gradient creates the power to puncture cell membranes at discrete areas, permitting the mitochondria direct entry into recipient cells, adopted by cell membrane restore.

“We knew once we first created the photothermal nanoblade that we would want a higher-throughput, easier to make use of system that’s extra accessible for different laboratories to assemble and function,” mentioned Teitell, who can also be the chief of the division of pediatric and developmental pathology and a member of the UCLA Broad Stem Cell Analysis Middle. “This new machine may be very environment friendly and permits researchers to check the mitochondrial genome in a easy manner — swapping it from one cell into one other — which can be utilized to uncover the fundamental biology that governs a broad vary of cell capabilities and will, sooner or later, provide hope for treating mitochondrial DNA illnesses.”

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College of California – Los Angeles Well being Sciences

Journal reference:

Patananan, A.N., et al. (2020) Strain-Pushed Mitochondrial Switch Pipeline Generates Mammalian Cells of Desired Genetic Combos and Fates. Cell Studies. doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2020.108562.



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