Showing 1 - 7 of 7 results
A programmable protease-based protein secretion platform for therapeutic applications.
Cell-based therapies represent potent enabling technologies in biomedical science. However, current genetic control systems for engineered-cell therapies are predominantly based on the transcription or translation of therapeutic outputs. Here we report a protease-based rapid protein secretion system (PASS) that regulates the secretion of pretranslated proteins retained in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) owing to an ER-retrieval signal. Upon cleavage by inducible proteases, these proteins are secreted. Three PASS variants (chemPASS, antigenPASS and optoPASS) are developed. With chemPASS, we demonstrate the reversal of hyperglycemia in diabetic mice within minutes via drug-induced insulin secretion. AntigenPASS-equipped cells recognize the tumor antigen and secrete granzyme B and perforin, inducing targeted cell apoptosis. Finally, results from mouse models of diabetes, hypertension and inflammatory pain demonstrate light-induced, optoPASS-mediated therapeutic peptide secretion within minutes, conferring anticipated therapeutic benefits. PASS is a flexible platform for rapid delivery of therapeutic proteins that can facilitate the development and adoption of cell-based precision therapies.
A small and highly sensitive red/far-red optogenetic switch for applications in mammals.
Optogenetic technologies have transformed our ability to precisely control biological processes in time and space. Yet, current eukaryotic optogenetic systems are limited by large or complex optogenetic modules, long illumination times, low tissue penetration or slow activation and deactivation kinetics. Here, we report a red/far-red light-mediated and miniaturized Δphytochrome A (ΔPhyA)-based photoswitch (REDMAP) system based on the plant photoreceptor PhyA, which rapidly binds the shuttle protein far-red elongated hypocotyl 1 (FHY1) under illumination with 660-nm light with dissociation occurring at 730 nm. We demonstrate multiple applications of REDMAP, including dynamic on/off control of the endogenous Ras/Erk mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade and control of epigenetic remodeling using a REDMAP-mediated CRISPR-nuclease-deactivated Cas9 (CRISPR-dCas9) (REDMAPcas) system in mice. We also demonstrate the utility of REDMAP tools for in vivo applications by activating the expression of transgenes delivered by adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) or incorporated into cells in microcapsules implanted into mice, rats and rabbits illuminated by light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Further, we controlled glucose homeostasis in type 1 diabetic (T1D) mice and rats using REDMAP to trigger insulin expression. REDMAP is a compact and sensitive tool for the precise spatiotemporal control of biological activities in animals with applications in basic biology and potentially therapy.
Far-red light-activated human islet-like designer cells enable sustained fine-tuned secretion of insulin for glucose control.
Diabetes affects almost half a billion people, and all individuals with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and a large portion of individuals with type 2 diabetes rely on self-administration of the peptide hormone insulin to achieve glucose control. However, this treatment modality has cumbersome storage and equipment requirements and is susceptible to fatal user error. Here, reasoning that a cell-based therapy could be coupled to an external induction circuit for blood glucose control, as a proof of concept we developed far-red light (FRL)-activated human islet-like designer (FAID) cells and demonstrated how FAID cell implants achieved safe and sustained glucose control in diabetic model mice. Specifically, by introducing a FRL-triggered optogenetic device into human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs), which we encapsulated in poly-(l-lysine)-alginate and implanted subcutaneously under the dorsum of T1D model mice, we achieved FRL illumination-inducible secretion of insulin that yielded improvements in glucose tolerance and sustained blood glucose control over traditional insulin glargine treatment. Moreover, the FAID cell implants attenuated both oxidative stress and development of multiple diabetes-related complications in kidneys. This optogenetics-controlled "living cell factory" platform could be harnessed to develop multiple synthetic designer therapeutic cells to achieve long-term yet precisely controllable drug delivery.
Constructing a Smartphone-Controlled Semiautomatic Theranostic System for Glucose Homeostasis in Diabetic Mice.
With the development of mobile communication technology, smartphones have been used in point-of-care technologies (POCTs) as an important part of telemedicine. Using a multidisciplinary design principle coupling electrical engineering, software development, synthetic biology, and optogenetics, the investigators developed a smartphone-controlled semiautomatic theranostic system that regulates blood glucose homeostasis in diabetic mice in an ultraremote-control manner. The present chapter describes how the investigators tailor-designed the implant architecture "HydrogeLED," which is capable of coharboring a designer-cell-carrying alginate hydrogel and wirelessly powered far-red light LEDs. Using diabetes mellitus as a model disease, the in vivo expression of insulin or human glucagon-like peptide 1 (shGLP-1) from HydrogeLED implants could be controlled not only by pre-set ECNU-TeleMed programs, but also by a custom-engineered Bluetooth-active glucometer in a semiautomatic and glycemia-dependent manner. As a result, blood glucose homeostasis was semiautomatically maintained in diabetic mice through the smartphone-controlled semiautomatic theranostic system. By combining digital signals with optogenetically engineered cells, the present study provides a new method for the integrated diagnosis and treatment of diseases.
Constructing Smartphone-Controlled Optogenetic Switches in Mammalian Cells.
With the increasing indispensable role of smartphones in our daily lives, the mobile health care system coupled with embedded physical sensors and modern communication technologies make it an attractive technology for enabling the remote monitoring of an individual's health. Using a multidisciplinary design principle coupled with smart electronics, software, and optogenetics, the investigators constructed smartphone-controlled optogenetic switches to enable the ultraremote-control transgene expression. A custom-designed SmartController system was programmed to process wireless signals from smartphones, enabling the regulation of therapeutic outputs production by optically engineered cells via a far-red light (FRL)-responsive optogenetic interface. In the present study, the investigators describe the details of the protocols for constructing smartphone-controlled optogenetic switches, including the rational design of an FRL-triggered transgene expression circuit, the procedure for cell culture and transfection, the implementation of the smartphone-controlled far-red light-emitting diode (LED) module, and the reporter detection assay.
Synthetic far-red light-mediated CRISPR-dCas9 device for inducing functional neuronal differentiation.
The ability to control the activity of CRISPR-dCas9 with precise spatiotemporal resolution will enable tight genome regulation of user-defined endogenous genes for studying the dynamics of transcriptional regulation. Optogenetic devices with minimal phototoxicity and the capacity for deep tissue penetration are extremely useful for precise spatiotemporal control of cellular behavior and for future clinic translational research. Therefore, capitalizing on synthetic biology and optogenetic design principles, we engineered a far-red light (FRL)-activated CRISPR-dCas9 effector (FACE) device that induces transcription of exogenous or endogenous genes in the presence of FRL stimulation. This versatile system provides a robust and convenient method for precise spatiotemporal control of endogenous gene expression and also has been demonstrated to mediate targeted epigenetic modulation, which can be utilized to efficiently promote differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells into functional neurons by up-regulating a single neural transcription factor, NEUROG2 This FACE system might facilitate genetic/epigenetic reprogramming in basic biological research and regenerative medicine for future biomedical applications.
Smartphone-controlled optogenetically engineered cells enable semiautomatic glucose homeostasis in diabetic mice.
With the increasingly dominant role of smartphones in our lives, mobile health care systems integrating advanced point-of-care technologies to manage chronic diseases are gaining attention. Using a multidisciplinary design principle coupling electrical engineering, software development, and synthetic biology, we have engineered a technological infrastructure enabling the smartphone-assisted semiautomatic treatment of diabetes in mice. A custom-designed home server SmartController was programmed to process wireless signals, enabling a smartphone to regulate hormone production by optically engineered cells implanted in diabetic mice via a far-red light (FRL)-responsive optogenetic interface. To develop this wireless controller network, we designed and implanted hydrogel capsules carrying both engineered cells and wirelessly powered FRL LEDs (light-emitting diodes). In vivo production of a short variant of human glucagon-like peptide 1 (shGLP-1) or mouse insulin by the engineered cells in the hydrogel could be remotely controlled by smartphone programs or a custom-engineered Bluetooth-active glucometer in a semiautomatic, glucose-dependent manner. By combining electronic device-generated digital signals with optogenetically engineered cells, this study provides a step toward translating cell-based therapies into the clinic.