17 November 2014

NanoScript solved the problem of safe differentiation of stem cells

One of the main difficulties faced by researchers interested in regenerative therapy of severe injuries and diseases using stem cells is the development of an easy, effective and non-toxic methodology for managing the differentiation of stem cells into certain types of cells.

In collaboration with colleagues from Kyoto University (Japan), Rutgers University researchers working under the guidance of Associate Professor Ki-Bum Lee have developed a NanoScript platform that allows solving this problem by regulating the expression of stem cell genes.

Gene expression is the mechanism by which information encoded in genes is used to trigger the assembly of protein molecules. The work of this mechanism is regulated by proteins known as transcription factors and, among other things, play a primary role in the process of controlling the differentiation of stem cells.

The NanoScript nanomaterial developed by the authors is the first functional analogue of transcription factors that effectively interacts with the DNA of living cells. It is made by attaching functional peptides and small molecules, which are synthetic analogues of individual domains of transcription factor molecules, to gold nanoparticles.

NanoScript particles penetrate into the nucleus and allow high efficiency to start transcription of target genes on nuclear DNA without the use of viruses. The developers are confident that the platform they have created, easily modifiable depending on the task at hand, is a very attractive alternative to existing methods of regulating gene expression. It can be used in various fields using manipulation of gene expression, including stem cell differentiation, cancer therapy and cell reprogramming.

Ki-Bam Lee has already applied for a patent. He also notes that the next stage of research will be devoted to studying the fate of gold nanoparticles in the body after they perform their function. For the introduction of experimental technology into practice, it is necessary to make sure that there are no toxic effects and to estimate the length of time during which it retains effectiveness.

Article by Sahishnu Patel et al. NanoScript: A Nanoparticle-Based Artificial Transcription Factor for Effective Gene Regulation is published in the journal ACS Nano.

Evgeniya Ryabtseva
Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru based on Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey:
Ki-Bum Lee Patents Technology To Advance Stem Cell Therapeutics


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