Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Protein from 2,600 million years ago cured to treat ALS or diabetes

Going back in time using bioinformatics technologies has made it possible to reconstruct proteins from 2.6 billion years ago, which are the ancestors of the Crispr/Cas gene editing system and have the same ability to edit genes as present-day genes. Capacity is even more versatile.

The discovery is signed off on by a team headed by Spanish scientists, including Francis Mojica from the University of Alicante and the father of the Crispr/Cas system, and published in Nature Microbiology.

Researchers say these “resurrected” progenitors of the Crispr/Cas system open new avenues for so-called gene-editing scissors that could have revolutionary applications.

biological equipment

Many bacteria have a biological device, the crisp system, that allows them to defend themselves against viruses; To do this, they bite off a piece of their attacker’s genetic material and store it in their own genes to remember it. Science has evolved over the years to use this system as an editing tool, which makes it possible to modify genomes with unprecedented precision in a simple and cheap way, which opens up huge possibilities for treating congenital diseases.

Most laboratories use Crispr-Cas9, which comes from Streptococcus pyogenes, “Streptococcus A”, a pathogenic bacterium that causes otitis and laryngitis, to which many people have antibodies. In those cases, it could not be used as gene therapy because the immune system would attack it.

“More Cripr-Cas systems are needed,” explains geneticist Louis Montoliu, deputy director of the National Center for Biotechnology (CNB) of the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), one of the signatories of the research that began in 2018. To do this, science has gone to the “most remote places” from the Atacama Desert to Greenland, to identify new bacteria that are not related to us from which to isolate new cryptic systems.

Nation World News Desk
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