NYSCF Researchers Develop Scientific Technique to Help Prevent Mitochondrial Disease
A joint team of scientists from The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) and Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) has developed a technique that may prevent the inheritance of devastating and potentially fatal mitochondrial diseases in children. In the study, published in Nature, the researchers removed the nucleus of an unfertilized egg cell and replaced it with the nucleus of another donor’s egg cell. The resultant egg cell contained the genome of the donor but not her mitochondrial DNA. The researchers demonstrated that the mitrochondrial transfer did not have detectable adverse effects on the egg cell, a prerequisite for clinical translation.
Dieter Egli, PhD, and Daniel Paull, PhD, of the NYSCF Laboratory with Mark Sauer, MD, and Michio Hirano, MD, of CUMC demonstrated how the nucleus of a cell can be successfully transferred between human egg cells. This landmark achievement in mitochondrial replacement carries significant implications for those children who have the potential to inherit mitochondrial diseases.