Modeling mitochondrial DNA diseases: from base editing to pluripotent stem-cell-derived organoids


Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) diseases are multi-systemic disorders caused by mutations affecting a fraction or the entirety of mtDNA copies. Currently, there are no approved therapies for the majority of mtDNA diseases. Challenges associated with engineering mtDNA have in fact hindered the study of mtDNA defects. Despite these difficulties, it has been possible to develop valuable cellular and animal models of mtDNA diseases. Here, we describe recent advances in base editing of mtDNA and the generation of three-dimensional organoids from patient-derived human-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Together with already available modeling tools, the combination of these novel technologies could allow determining the impact of specific mtDNA mutations in distinct human cell types and might help uncover how mtDNA mutation load segregates during tissue organization. iPSC-derived organoids could also represent a platform for the identification of treatment strategies and for probing the in vitro effectiveness of mtDNA gene therapies. These studies have the potential to increase our mechanistic understanding of mtDNA diseases and may open the way to highly needed and personalized therapeutic interventions. © 2023 The Authors. Published under the terms of the CC BY NC ND 4.0 license.

Authors Tolle I, Tiranti V, Prigione A
Journal EMBO reports
Publication Date 2023 Apr 5;24(4):e55678
PubMed 36876467
PubMed Central PMC10074100
DOI 10.15252/embr.202255678

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