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Accessing DNA in the cell’s powerhouse to treat disease

Schematic illustration of a mitochondria-specific DNA-based synthetic ligand, called MITO-PIPs that selectively read a target DNA sequence and alter gene transcription.

A new molecule that reads mitochondrial DNA could pave the way to treat some genetic nerve and muscle diseases.

Most DNA is found in the nucleus. But mitochondria, the cell’s powerhouses, also host a small amount of DNA. Pyrrole-imidazole polyamides (PIPs) are capable of crossing the nuclear membrane to bind to nuclear DNA, but are incapable of crossing the mitochondrial membrane.

A team, led by Ganesh Pandian Namasivayam, from Kyoto University’s Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Science (iCeMS) succeeded to re-direct PIP to cross the mitochondrial membrane so that it can access its DNA and alter gene transcription.

Further details are available at the following page:
Kyoto University: Accessing DNA in the cell’s powerhouse to treat disease

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