Navigation Links
Extracting cellular 'engines' may aid in understanding mitochondrial diseases
Date:1/6/2011

Medical researchers who crave a means of exploring the genetic culprits behind a host of neuromuscular disorders may have just had their wish granted by a team working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), where scientists have performed surgery on single cells to extract and examine their mitochondria.

The scientists reached into these cells and extracted their "engines"the mitochondria that are in large part responsible for our metabolism. Many human cells contain hundreds of mitochondria, which were thought to be free-swimming organisms millions of years ago and which still possess their own DNA. Mutations in this mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) are directly related to a large class of mitochondrial-based diseases, which have a range of symptoms that include early onset blindness, seizures, hearing loss, dementia, etc. In the general population, one out of every 200 people possesses a mtDNA mutation that may develop into a mitochondrial disease.

Investigating more deeply has been problematic, though, because the way mitochondria mix and spread their DNA within and among cells is poorly understood. "The trouble is that it's very difficult to extract single mitochondria from an individual cell," says NIST physicist Joseph Reiner. "For years, the best technique has been to break open a group of cells and collect the mitochondria from all of them in a kind of soup. As you might guess, it's hard to determine which mitochondria came from what cellsyet that's what we need to know."

The research team, which also includes scientists from Gettysburg College, has potentially solved this problem by realizing that several devices and techniques can be used together to extract a single mitochondrion from a cell that possesses a genetic mutation. They employed a method** previously used to extract single chromosomes from isolated rice cells where a laser pulse makes an incision in a cell's outer membrane. Another laser is used as a "tweezer" to isolate a mitochondrion, which then can be extracted by a tiny pipette whose tip is less than a micrometer wide.

This approach allowed the team to place a single mitochondrion into a small test tube, where they could explore the mitochondrion's genetic makeup by conventional means. The team found the mutation present throughout the entire cell was also found within individual mitochondria, a find suggesting that broad genetic research on mitochondrial disease may be possible at last.

"Getting an object as tiny as this from tweezer to test tube is not easy," says Koren Deckman, a biochemist from Gettysburg College. "But by building on more than a decade of work that has gone on at NIST and elsewhere, we now have a way to see the mitochondria we extract all the way through the transfer process, meaning we can be sure the sample came from a very specific cell. This could give medical scientists the inroad they need for understanding these diseases."


'/>"/>

Contact: Chad Boutin
boutin@nist.gov
301-975-4261
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New book highlights the cellular and molecular determinants of brain wiring
2. Some cancer drugs may block cellular cross talk but not kill cancer cells
3. BUSM researchers uncover cellular mechanism responsible for chronic inflammation, Type 2 diabetes
4. Massachusetts General Hospitals Warren Triennial Prize to honor pioneers of cellular reprogramming
5. Children with autism more likely to have mitochondrial defects impacting cellular energy production
6. Scientists discover molecular switch that contributes to cellular aging process
7. The most aggressive forms of breast cancer elude cellular control mechanisms in order to expand
8. UNC scientists identify cellular communicators for cancer virus
9. NYU Courant researchers develop algebraic model to monitor cellular change
10. Novel protein critical for cellular proliferation discovered
11. Ticking of cellular clock promotes seismic changes in the chromatin landscape associated with aging
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/16/2016)... --  IdentyTechSolutions America LLC , a leading provider ... a cutting-edge manufacturer of software and hardware security ... integrated solutions that comprise IDT biometric readers and ... IdentyTech,s customers with combined physical identification and anti-tailgating ... theft. "We are proud to use ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... -- ... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Global Military ... report forecasts the global military biometrics market to grow at a CAGR ... been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry ... the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of the key ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Research Future published a half cooked research report on Mobile Biometric ... Market is expected to grow over the CAGR of ~35% during ... ... Mobile Biometric Security and Service Market is increasing at a ... security from unwanted cyber threats. The increasing use of mobile device ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/20/2017)... http://www.Financialbuzz.com - According ... causes of death worldwide. There were 8.2 million cancer ... related deaths increased gradually over time, the death rates ... various cancers continues to drive demand of biological therapies ... Market Insights, Inc. cancer biological therapy market size was USD ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... LOUISVILLE, Ky. and HOUSTON ... Prenatal Inc. ("NX Prenatal") today announced the formation ... brings together leading clinicians and industry veterans who ... the company as it accelerates development of its ... positioned to provide medical, clinical and strategic guidance ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... , ... January 19, 2017 , ... ... product vigilance software to leading biopharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers and regulators, is ... fully 21 CFR Part 11-compliant email client designed to provide product vigilance departments ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... 18, 2017 , ... The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) ... Sharing Policy. Specifically, the nation’s leading informatics experts, said data sharing plans should ... AMIA recommended that NIH earmark funding for researchers to produce and execute data ...
Breaking Biology Technology: