Now it should go without saying: You should get your shots. However, your traditional syringe only goes so far. cellular levelThe injection could help pave the way for new, more effective biomedical therapies, such as cancer treatment and gene therapy.
In a new study published Wednesday in the journal nature, Researchers have developed a bacterial “syrigine” that can inject the protein directly into cultured human and mouse cells. The technique uses the bacteria’s natural process of interacting with host cells to deliver different types of proteins into the cell.
The study’s authors, from MIT, modified a specific bacterial protein often found to be a target for insects called serotonin. Photohubdus virulence cassette (PVC), named after bacteria Photorhabdus asymbiotica. Although this bacterium is lethal to many insect larvae and is used as an insecticide, it is not known to kill insect larvae. But it’s not dangerous to humans. This latest study builds on past research showing that PVCs can be used to target and deliver proteins to non-human cells.
“(We) demonstrated the application of PVCs as a delivery tool in a variety of contexts, e.g. to kill cancer cells specifically. or as a medium for genome editing. And we show that the system works as intended in insect cells, human cells, primary cells and in live mice,” the authors write.
They add that PVCs are “a versatile, programmable protein delivery tool suitable for a wide range of applications, from biocontrol to human gene therapy.”
To develop the syringe, the researchers used AlphaFold, a powerful AI program from Google used to predict optimal protein structure. Then they identified Photohubdus and reengineered to inject the protein into human cells in Petri dishes. This suggests that it could one day be used to help deliver therapies directly into human cells. For example, proteins could be used as nanocarriers that deliver antibodies into tumor cells.
The beauty of PVC is its versatility and efficiency. Not only can they be customized according to the type of goods or arrangement to be delivered, but nature Studies have shown that it can also target human and mouse cells. “Almost 100 percent efficiency.”
So we are seeing an increase in bacterial syringes being used as part of a major therapeutic one day. Unfortunately, the rest of us still have to deal with our fear of needles for vaccines.