Genetically Encoded Biosensors for Research and Drug Discovery
Mitochondrial integrity and function are pivotal to cellular energy production, and mitochondrial dysfunction has been shown to alter the cell cycle, metabolism, cell viability, gene regulation, and other critical aspects of cellular growth and survival.
Mitochondrial Dysfunction – Disease and Cytotoxicity
Mitochondrial dysfunction is associated with a broad spectrum of diseases. For example, in cancer, glycolysis persists to continuously supply ATP for tumor growth while bypassing the need for healthy mitochondria in a phenomenon known as the Warburg Effect (1). Although the underlying genetic reasons for the links between aerobic glycolysis, tumor growth, and hypoxia are not fully understood, the available evidence supports a link between the ability of cancer cells to bypass normal cellular metabolic pathways and mitochondrial dysfunction. Elsewhere, research into neurodegenerative disorders (e.g., Alzheimer’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s) has revealed the essentiality of mitochondria for neuronal survival, cellular metabolism, and reactive oxygen species production (ROS). Neurons depend on oxidative phosphorylation as a critical source of energy and are very sensitive to intracellular ROS. Consequently, mitochondrial biogenesis and dysfunction are associated with neurodegeneration and aging.Continue Reading...
Gene reporter assays have contributed hugely to our understanding of how genes are regulated during growth and development, for example, through the study of spatiotemporal gene expression patterns, as well as how gene expression is regulated by transcription factors, gene regulatory elements (so-called cis-acting elements), and exogenous regulators (trans-acting factors). Besides investigating gene regulation, gene reporter assays are also useful in transfection experiments, both to optimize and standardize transfection efficiencies and to screen transfected cells in routine workflows. (more…)Continue Reading...
Pharmaceutical quality is of vital importance.
Imagine getting a prescription from your doctor for drug X. You go to the pharmacy to pick it up, grab a bottle of water and then take the recommended dose hoping for the best because you have no idea what the quality of this bottle of drug X is!
This would includes not knowing if what you’re taking is:
- what it says on the label;
- safe for human consumption;
- within a safe use-by date;
- of the correct strength;
- tested well;
- contaminated with microbes (anything else for that matter!)
Thankfully, the FDA regulates these things (sigh of relief).
This is known as “CGMP” (Current Good Manufacturing Practice) or just “GMP” (Good Manufacturing Practice). (more…)Continue Reading...