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Validation of Mitochondrial Gene Delivery in Liver and Skeletal Muscle via Hydrodynamic Injection Using an Artificial Mitochondrial Reporter DNA Vector

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journal contribution
posted on 07.12.2015, 00:00 by Yukari Yasuzaki, Yuma Yamada, Takuya Ishikawa, Hideyoshi Harashima
For successful mitochondrial transgene expression, two independent processes, i.e., developing a mitochondrial gene delivery system and construction of DNA vector to achieve mitochondrial gene expression, are required. To date, very few studies dealing with mitochondrial gene delivery have been reported and, in most cases, transgene expression was not validated, because the construction of a reporter DNA vector for mitochondrial gene expression is the bottleneck. In this study, mitochondrial transgene expression by the in vivo mitochondrial gene delivery of an artificial mitochondrial reporter DNA vector via hydrodynamic injection is demonstrated. In the procedure, a large volume of naked plasmid DNA (pDNA) is rapidly injected. We designed and constructed pHSP-mtLuc (CGG) as a mitochondrial reporter DNA vector that possesses a mitochondrial heavy strand promoter (HSP) and an artificial mitochondrial genome with the reporter NanoLuc (Nluc) luciferase gene that records adjustments to the mitochondrial codon system. We delivered the pDNA into mouse liver mitochondria by hydrodynamic injection, and detected exogenous mRNA in the liver using reverse transcription PCR analysis. The hydrodynamic injection of pHSP-mtLuc (CGG) resulted in the expression of the Nluc luciferase protein in liver and skeletal muscle. Our mitochondrial transgene expression reporter system would contribute to mitochondrial gene therapy and further studies directed at mitochondrial molecular biology.