The SENS Foundation is looking for ways to modify the mitochondrial genome, which could eliminate mitochondrial mutations.
(PRWEB) October 18, 2013
The SENS Foundation is looking for ways to modify the mitochondrial genome, which could eliminate mitochondrial mutations. A current avenue of research involves creating 13 of the 37 mitochondrial genes that deal with respiratory function. These engineered genes contain a type of protein known as allotropically-expressed proteins. The primary challenge with importing these proteins into mitochondria is that they are repelled by water, although the possibility of an incomplete transfer of proteins is also a danger.
A possible solution to this problem may be to use two processes for translating RNA into protein that will be imported into the mitochondria. Dr. Corral-Debrinski has used this co-translational import technique in previous work with the SENS Research Foundation. This strategy involves tagging the desired RNA sequences in the genes and directing them to the surface of the mitochondria. This method increases the efficiency of the protein importation since the proteins don’t fold as much while they are moving through the mitochondria’s watery environment.
Many notable philanthropists have donated to the MF and SRF. The San Francisco Chronicle announced in 2006 that Peter Thiel was pledging $3.5 million to the MF, and entrepreneur Jason Hope pledged $500,000 to the SRF in 2010. Poker player Justin Bonomo pledged five percent of his winnings to the SRF in 2010.
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