A synthetic biology platform enabling control over aging-associated stress response

Integrated Biosciences has developed novel tools to manipulate the integrated stress response (ISR), a key hallmark of aging. The team is using optogenetics to activate the ISR in a “cellular virtual reality” system and has shown that manipulating the duration and intensity of this activation influences the cell’s response. This platform can be combined with AI to identify anti-aging drug candidates. Credit: Integrated Biosciences
Integrated Biosciences, a biotechnology company combining synthetic biology and machine learning to target aging, in collaboration with researchers at the University of California Santa Barbara, today announced a drug discovery platform that enables precise control of the integrated stress response (ISR), a biological pathway that is activated by cells in response to a wide variety of pathological and aging-associated conditions. A new publication, “Optogenetic control of the integrated stress response reveals proportional encoding and the stress memory landscape,” authored by company founders and featured on the cover of Cell Systems describes a technique that triggers the ISR virtually using light and demonstrates how the accumulation of stress over time shifts a cell’s reaction from adaptation to apoptosis (programmed cell death). Integrated Biosciences’ “cellular virtual reality” system adapts optogenetics, a research method pioneered by neuroscientists to activate specific neurons by wiring them to fire in response to flashes of light. In Integrated Biosciences’ platform, neuroglioma and osteosarcoma cancer cells were genetically modified such that their ISR could respond to light.

By Ten Bridge Communications

Article can be accessed on: phys.org