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Recent Press Releases
CAMBRIDGE, UK, August 22nd 2013
EXOSOME RESEARCH SET TO CLEAN UP WITH NEW TECHNOLOGY
Cell biologists are excited by the medical potential of exosomes. A novel exosome purification technology, released today by Cell Guidance Systems, is set to transform the field.
Once thought to be just part of the cells waste disposal system, it is now clear that exosomes also act as microscopic delivery bags, protecting RNA and protein contents that can then be transported in the blood, influencing the activity of distant cells.
Exosomes may be useful in cancer diagnostics and for drug delivery, transporting therapeutic RNA and DNA, manufactured in cells in-vitro, to specific diseased cells. In some cases, exosomes mediate the benefits of stem cell therapy.
One of the major technical hurdles facing the exosome field is the efficient purification of intact exosomes. The gold standard for their purification is currently ultra-centrifugation, which is time-consuming and inefficient. Commercially available exosome precipitants, used in a small number of labs, yield exosome preparations of relatively low purity, in which the precipitant remains as a contaminant.
Exo-spin™ kits for exosome purification, launched today by Cell Guidance Systems, overcome all of these shortcomings. Exo-spin™ is based on technology licensed from A*STAR in Singapore. Exo-spin™ kits are suitable for the preparation of pure, functional exosomes from a variety of biological fluids including blood plasma/sera, cell culture media, urine, saliva.
Dr Michael Jones, CEO of Cell Guidance Systems, commented “Talking to exosome researchers, it is clear that the current options for exosome purification have significant shortcomings. Exo-spin™ is a breakthrough in reliable purification of exosomes that will enable the entire field to move forward more rapidly.” Exo-spin™ provides a gentle purification process in which no organic phases are used, no ultracentrifugation is employed and the exosomes are purified free of precipitants in as little as one hour.
Cell Guidance Systems Ltd, Cambridge, UK. January 30th 2013.
Scientists Find Way to Knockup Genes
Italian scientists use molecular RNA Chaperones to increase protein production from individual genes. The technique is being hailed as a breakthrough in biotechnology that will transform cell science, accelerating the development of new medicines.
CAMBRIDGE, England, Jan. 31, 2013 / One of the most innovative biotechnologies of the last decade has recently been developed. SINEUP allows scientists, for the first time, to target individual genes in cells to knockup, or increase, the amount of protein they make. The technique will improve Protein manufacture, analyse the function of genes and engineer improved cell function.
This novel technology is based on pioneering research in the lab of Dr Stefano Gustincich at SISSA in Trieste. The mechanism relies on the discovery of an entirely new function for RNA. Although most well known as a messenger RNA molecule made by genes for protein synthesis, most RNA is not actually made by genes. Once thought to be junk, important functions for non-coding RNA are increasingly being found.
Working with collaborators from RIKEN in Yokohama, Dr Gustincich's lab identified a non-coding RNA which specifically binds to messenger RNA (mRNA) from the target gene. It then acts as a chaperone, efficiently escorting the target mRNA to ribosomes, where proteins are made. The new technology has now been tested on a variety of different cells and across a range of genes. Large increases in protein levels, up to 10-fold, have been seen.
The technology is being marketed by TransSINE Technologies and Cell Guidance Systems. Piero Carninci, CEO of TransSINE Technologies commented, "In many ways, the technique is the opposite of RNAi, a widely used technique that knocks down genes by targeting them for degradation before being translated into proteins. Both SINEUP and RNAi techniques have a myriad of research and biotechnology uses, not to mention potential for novel drugs." Michael Jones, CEO of Cell Guidance Systems commented, "We have had a great initial response from the researchers and biomanufacturing companies. This technology will have a huge impact on cell research and the wider medical field. We are very excited to be involved with this evolving story."