Development on new technologies for clinical and drug delivery: Probing Mitochondrial Chemical Biology with Organelle-Specific Peptides

Shana Kelley - targeting mitochondriaDr. Shana O'Kelley is a Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chemistry, and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto, Canada. Dr. Kelley received her Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology and was a NIH postdoctoral fellow at the Scripps Research Institute. Her research interests are the development of new technologies for clinical diagnostics and drug delivery.

During Targeting Mitochondria World conngress, Dr O'Kelley will present her study on Mitochondria Chemical Biology.

"Mitochondria are very interesting compartments within the eukaryotic cell with a unique evolutionary history.  The bacterial origin of mitochondria and retention of a genome differentiate this organelle from others within the cell.  Because of the impermeable nature of the mitochondrial membranes, genetic manipulation of the mitochondrial is difficult and as a result little is know about the processes within the organelle that involve nucleic acids. We recently developed a peptide-based delivery vector that can carry reactive cargo into the mitochondria of live mammalian cells.  By attaching agents that generate reactive oxygen species or alkylation damage, we can site-specifically probe the cellular response to these insults and deconvolute this response from that resulting from nuclear damage. This approach is revealing new insights into how mitochondrial DNA damage is responded to, and has also indicated that the makeup of mitochondria make them susceptible to other types of bimolecular damage."

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