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DNA Methylation Measurement For Mammals Based On Conserved Loci

UCLA researchers in the Departments of Human Genetics and Biological Chemistry have developed a new approach for measuring DNA methylation levels in mammals based on short and highly conserved nucleotide sequences.  This method facilitates the development of chip for measuring DNA methylation that can be used for cross-species comparisons and used for building universal epigenetic aging clocks (age estimators) that apply to all mammals.

Biodegradable Polymeric Vectors For Delivery Of Various RNAs

Current methods for ribonucleic acid (RNA) delivery are inefficient and toxic. UCI researchers have synthesized a new delivery system that is not only efficient and non-toxic but also allows the delivery of RNAs of multiple shapes and sizes.

4D-seq: Single Cell RNA-sequencing with in situ Spatiotemporal Information

To develop a novel imaging-based single cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-Seq) platform that allows capturing of spatiotemporal information and cellular behavior of the sequenced cells within tissue.

In Vitro Reconstituted Plant Virus Capsids For Delivering Rna Genes To Mammalian Cells

UCLA researchers in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry have developed a method for using in vitro reconstituted plant virus-derived vectors to package and deliver RNA genes for targeted delivery of vaccines, MRI contrast agents, and therapeutic proteins in RNA form.

DARTS: Deep Learning Augmented RNA-seq Analysis of Transcript Splicing

Researchers led by Yi Xing have developed a novel deep learning algorithm to detect alternative splicing patterns in RNA-seq data

Sustained Intracellular RNA Delivery and Expression

UCLA researchers in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have developed a novel method for high protein expression levels, in situ, involving RNA-based therapeutics.

Catalytic MicroRNA Antagonists

UCLA researchers in the Department of Biological Chemistry have developed a novel approach for miRNA inhibition.

Simultaneous Detection Of Protein Isoforms And Nucleic Acids From Low Starting Cell Numbers

Embryo-specific nucleic acid modifications, including retrotransposon activity-derived genomic modifications and alternative splicing of mRNA, is crucial for the development of mammalian embryos. However, determining if all genomic modifications and mRNA isoforms translate to protein variations remain intriguing questions due to difficulty in measuring protein isoforms and nucleic acids from small starting cell numbers.    UC Researchers have developed a system for performing dual nucleic acid and protein isoform measurements on low starting cell numbers equivalent to the number of blastomeres composing early embryonic development stages (morula and blastocysts).  The system integrates fractionation polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (fPAGE) with off-chip analysis of nucleic acids in the nuclei. An additional method can be used to remove nuclei for off-chip analysis. The system can measure expression of protein isoforms from the cytoplasmic fraction of 1-100 cells while achieving analysis of either DNA or mRNA retained in the nuclei. The researchers have demonstrated signal from immunoprobed protein correlates strongly with protein expression prior to lysis in TurboGFP-expressing cells and that mRNA levels correlate with protein abundance in TurboGFP-expressing cells.

Rapid, Sensitive Detection of Nucleic Acid Sequences in Environmental Samples

UCLA Researchers at the California NanoSystems Institute have developed a methodology that permits PCR-based detection of nucleic acid sequences in soil that does not require the isolation of DNA.

Lipid-Modified Oligonucleotides For Sample Barcoding in Droplet Microfluidics-Based Single-Cell RNA Sequencing

A new strategy for barcoding single living cells using lipid-modified oligonucleotides that can vastly enhance sample multiplexing in droplet microfluidics-based RNA sequencing

Gene Editing: An Improved Methodology For Homology Directed Repair In Cells

Gene editing in cells involves the use of sequence-specific nucleases that generate double-strand DNA breaks (DSBs) at specifically targeted sites in the genome. The DSBs are then repaired by non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) or, much less efficiently, by homology directed repair (HDR). In NHEJ, the two free DNA ends are joined together. This commonly results in small DNA deletions or insertions that inactivate the target gene. In HDR, the DSB is repaired by a mechanism that converts the DNA into the specific sequence that is provided by a DNA donor template. Thus, HDR enables genes to be modified or inserted at specifically desired sites.  The main drawback to HDR is the low efficiency of the process.

NANOPORE MEMBRANE DEVICE AND METHODS OF USE THEREOF

Several chemical, physical, and biological techniques have been used for delivering macromolecules into living cells. Delivery of biomolecules into living cells is essential for biomedical research and drug development as well as genome editing. However, conventional methods of delivery of biomolecules such as viral vectors, cell penetrating peptides, cationic lipids, positive charged polymers, bulk electroporation, and microinjection pose several challenges. Such challenges include safety concerns, toxicity, damage to the cells, limited loading capacity, low delivery efficiencies, low cell viabilities, low cell throughput, high cellular perturbation, and high costs.  Thus, there is a need for delivery devices and methods that allow for permeabilization of the cell membrane to facilitate delivery of biomolecules into cells.   UC Berkeley researchers have developed a universal delivery electroporation system that makes cell transfection very simple for all of types of cells. The technology can be used to replace conventional cellular delivery methods such as cationic lipid, positive charged polymer and bulk electroporation as well as microinjection.  The system can deliver biomolecules (e.g., DNA, RNA, proteins, nucleic acid-protein complexes (e.g., RNPs)) or other reagents into all cell types, including T-cells, which cannot be efficiently transfected with conventional approaches.  

Assay for Oligonucleotides in Serum Without Extraction or RT-PCR

Prof. Ameae Walker’s laboratory at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) has developed an assay to quantify oligos in sub-picomole amounts without the need for sample purification and amplification. This new competitive assay is called an ELOHA (Enzyme-Linked Oligonucleotide Hybridization Assay). The method is illustrated in Fig. 1, below.  Capture Oligos that are to hybridize with an oligo to be measured are covalently linked to a plate (1), a Detection Oligo, with the same sequence as the oligo to be measured, has a conjugated label, such as horseradish peroxidase or biotin.  The Detection Oligo then competes with the oligo of interest for binding to the Capture Oligo (2).  Once the hybridization is complete, the unbound oligos are washed away (3).  A colorimetric readout is produced (4) to inversely quantify the oligo of interest.  Fig. 1 Schematic of the ELOHA assay Fig. 2 shows the use of an ELOHA for amounts of Antimaia in mouse serum. Antimaia is a splice modulating oligomer therapy for breast cancer developed in the UCR lab of Prof. Walker.  

Inhibition Of Stress Granule Formation Through Manipulation Of UBAP2L

Stress granule (SG) formation has been suggested as a two-step process, with initial formation of a dense stable SG ‘‘core’’ followed by accumulation of proteins containing intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs) and low-complexity domains (LCDs) into a peripheral ‘‘shell’’ through a process involving liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS). Recently, SGs have been associated with human neurodegenerative disorders characterized by the presence of toxic insoluble protein aggregates. This link is most compelling in the case of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD), where numerous disease-causing mutations are purported to interfere with LLPS-dependent growth and dynamics of SGs.

Scalable Lipid Bilayer Microfluidics for High-Throughput Gene Editing

Researchers led by Paul Weiss from the Department of Chemistry and Pediatrics at UCLA have created a new microfluidic device for high-throughput gene editing of cells.

Cas12-mediated DNA Detection Reporter Molecules

Class 2 CRISPR-Cas systems are streamlined versions in which a single Cas protein (an effector protein, e.g., a type V Cas effector protein such as Cpf1) bound to RNA is responsible for binding to and cleavage of a targeted sequence. The programmable nature of these minimal systems has facilitated their use as a versatile technology that continues to revolutionize the field of genome manipulation.    Cas12 is an RNA-guided protein that binds and cuts any matching DNA sequence. Binding of the Cas12-CRISPR RNA (crRNA) complex to a matching single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) or double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) molecule activates the protein to non-specifically degrade any ssDNA in trans. Cas12a-dependent target binding can be coupled to a reporter molecule to provide a direct readout for DNA detection within a sample.  UC Berkeley researchers have developed compositions, systems, and kits having labeled single stranded reporter DNA molecules that provide a sensitive readout for detection of a target DNA. 

System and Methods for Efficient Collection of Single Cells and Colonies of Cells and Fast Generation of Stable Transfectants

A plate manufactured to enable samples of cells, microorganisms, proteins, DNA, biomolecules, transfectants, and other biological media to be positioned at specific sites. Some or all of the sites are built from removable material so that samples may be isolated.

CRISPR-based Graphene Biosensor for Digital Detection of DNA Mutations

UC Berkeley and Keck Institute researchers have reported the development and testing of a graphene-based field-effect transistor that uses CRISPR technology to enable the digital detection of a target sequence within intact genomic material. Termed CRISPR–Chip, the biosensor uses the gene-targeting capacity of catalytically deactivated Cas9 complexed with a specific single-guide RNA and immobilized on the transistor to yield a label-free nucleic-acid-testing device whose output signal can be measured with a simple handheld reader.  

Enhanced Speed Polymerases For Sanger Sequencing

Sanger sequencing has remained a dominant DNA sequencing methodology for molecular biology research and development for many years.  The main commercially available DNA polymerase developed for Sanger sequencing has a slow extension speed and has difficulties sequencing secondary structures such as GC rich regions, hairpins, mono- and poly-nucleotide repeats.  While specialized plastics and reductions in reaction volumes to improve Sanger sequencing reaction times, any gains in sequencing assay performance (e.g., sequencing time or throughput) are offset by increased costs associated with a terminator reagent.  During the last two decades, further refinement and advancement of suitable DNA polymerases to improve polymerization speeds during Sanger sequencing have been limited.  Thus, there remains a need for improved DNA polymerases suitable for Sanger sequencing that possess enhanced elongation speeds, and the ability to sequence through secondary structures present in DNA templates.    A UC Berkeley researchers has discovered compositions and methods for preparing and using Taq DNA polymerases with improved Sanger sequencing elongation sequencing rates as compared to commercially available Sanger sequencing reagents.  

Endoribonucleases For Rna Detection And Analysis

96 Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} Bacteria and archaea possess adaptive immune systems that rely on small RNAs for defense against invasive genetic elements. CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) genomic loci are transcribed as long precursor RNAs, which must be enzymatically cleaved to generate mature CRISPR-derived RNAs (crRNAs) that serve as guides for foreign nucleic acid targeting and degradation. This processing occurs within the repetitive sequence and is catalyzed by a dedicated CRISPR-associated (Cas) family member in many CRISPR systems.  Endoribonucleases that process CRISPR transcripts are bacterial or archaeal enzymes capable of catalyzing sequence- and structure- specific cleavage of a single- stranded RNA. These enzymes cleave a specific phosphodiester bond within a specific RNA sequence.  UC Berkeley researchers discovered variant Cas endoribonucleases, nucleic acids encoding the variant Cas endoribonucleases, and host cells genetically modified with the nucleic acids that can be used, potentially in conjunction with Cas9, to detect a specific sequence in a target polyribonucleotide and of regulating production of a target RNA in a eukaryotic cell.  For example, it was found that the variant Cas endoribonuclease has an amino acid substitution at a histidine residue such that is is enzymatically inactive in the absence of imidazole and is activatable in the presence of imidazole.  

“SPARK (Separation of Phases-based Activity Reporter of Kinase)”_A Genetically-encoded Fluorescent Reporter Platform for Studying Cell Signaling in Living Cells

This novel class of genetically-encoded fluorescent reporters can be used as powerful tools to study protein-protein interactions (PPIs) in living cells. These bright, reversible reporters have a large dynamic range and fast kinetics, demonstrating significant advantages over traditional FRET-based fluorescent reporters.

Small RNA Extraction Kit with High Yield

Prof. Wenwan Zhong and her lab at UCR have developed a method to recover small RNAs using TiO2 fibers which results in a 200-fold improvement in yield when compared to commercially available SiO2 columns. Fig. 1 Schematic of the steps involved in recovering small RNAs using TiO2 fibers and a unique protocol to wash and elute the small RNA.   Fig. 2 Extracting miRNA from MDA-MB-231 cells with TiO2 fibers and SiO2 PureLink miRNA isolation columns. Higher recoveries of endogenous hsa-miR-21 were found with TiO2 fibers when compared with PureLink columns.

High-Throughput Microfluidic Gene-Editing via Cell Deformability within Microchannels

UCLA researchers in the Departments of Pediatrics and Chemistry & Biochemistry have developed a microfluidic device for delivery of biomolecules into living cells using mechanical deformation, without the fouling issues in current systems.

Type V CRISPR/CAS Effector Proteins for Cleaving ssDNA and Detecting Target DNA

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Calibri",sans-serif; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} Class 2 CRISPR–Cas systems (e.g., type V CRISPR/Cas systems such as Cas12 family systems) are characterized by effector modules that include a single effector protein. For example, in a type V CRISPR/Cas system, the effector protein - a CRISPR/Cas endonuclease (e.g., a Cas12a protein) - interacts with (binds to) a corresponding guide RNA (e.g., a Cas12a guide RNA) to form a ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complex that is targeted to a particular site in a target nucleic acid via base pairing between the guide RNA and a target sequence within the target nucleic acid molecule.  Thus, like CRISPR-Cas9, Cas12 has been harnessed for genome editing based on its ability to generate targeted, double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) breaks.   UC Berkeley researchers have discovered that RNA-guided DNA binding unleashes indiscriminate single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) cleavage activity by Cas12a that completely degrades ssDNA molecules. The researchers found that target-activated, non-specific ssDNase cleavage is also a property of other type V CRISPR-Cas12 enzymes. By combining Cas12a ssDNase activation with isothermal amplification, the researchers were able to achieve attomolar sensitivity for DNA detection.  For example, rapid and specific detection of human papillomavirus in patient samples was achieved using these methods and compositions.   

Lipoplex-Mediated Efficient Single-Cell Transfection Via Droplet Microfluidics

The invention is an on-chip, droplet based single-cell transfection platform providing higher efficiency and consistency compared to conventional methods. Novel techniques following cell encapsulation yields uniform lipoplex formation, which increases the transfection accuracy. The invention solves the dilemma of the trade-off between efficiency and cell viability, and offers a safe, cell friendly and high transfection solution that is crucial for applications like gene therapy, cancer treatment and regenerative medicine.

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