Monday, September 28, 2015

RNA-based mitochondrial targeting technique shown to work in vivo in flies and in human cells

Towheed A, Markantone DM, Crain AT, Celotto AM, Palladino MJ. Small mitochondrial-targeted RNAs modulate endogenous mitochondrial protein expression in vivo. Neurobiol Dis. 2014 Sep;69:15-22. PMID: 24807207; PMCID: PMC4106415.

From the abstract: “Endogenous mitochondrial genes encode critical oxidative phosphorylation components and their mutation results in a set of disorders known collectively as mitochondrial encephalomyopathies. There is intensive interest in modulating mitochondrial function as organelle dysfunction has been associated with numerous disease states. Proteins encoded by the mitochondrial genome cannot be genetically manipulated by current techniques. Here we report the development of a mitochondrial-targeted RNA expression system (mtTRES) utilizing distinct non-coding leader sequences (NCLs) and enabling in vivo expression [in Drosophila] of small mitochondrial-targeted RNAs. mtTRES expressing small chimeric antisense RNAs was used as translational inhibitors (TLIs) ... This technique has important and obvious research and clinical implications.”

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