Stem cell scientists lay a TRAP for disease

July 11, 2014, University of Southern California

USC Stem Cell scientists have set a "mouse TRAP" to capture the early signs of kidney failure, as described by a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. Their new transgenic mouse line uses a technique called TRAP to extract cellular and genetic information from a variety of solid organs.

Invented by scientists at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in 2008, TRAP involves attaching a fluorescent tag to the protein-making machinery, or ribosomes, of the cell type of interest. Scientists can then collect the tagged ribosomes and determine which active genes are ordering proteins to be made by these ribosomes. (TRAP stands for "translating ribosome affinity purification.")

Following up on this breakthrough, the USC team—led by Jing Liu, senior research associate in the laboratory of Andy McMahon—has made the technique simpler and more accessible by engineering a TRAP mouse. When bred with any one of thousands of existing strains of transgenic mice, the TRAP mouse produces progeny with tagged in specific organs or cell types.

To demonstrate how useful this can be, Liu and her colleagues used TRAP mice to tag four different types of and identify early signals of .

As a consequence of surgery, infections or drug toxicity, five to seven percent of all hospitalized patients experience acute kidney injury, which can lead to or death.

Currently, doctors can only detect acute kidney injury a full day after it occurs. The TRAP mouse enables earlier detection, which will greatly improve patients' health.

"The technology is simple, and the kidney field is very excited about our results," said Liu. "I anticipate that the TRAP mouse will advance our cellular and molecular understanding of a wide variety of diseases and injuries in many different organ systems."

Explore further: Researchers profile active genes in neurons based on connections

Related Stories

Researchers profile active genes in neurons based on connections

May 23, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—When it comes to the brain, wiring isn't everything. Although neurobiologists often talk in electrical metaphors, the reality is that the brain is not nearly as simple as a series of wires and circuits. ...

Team uses new technique to uncover the building blocks of kidney regeneration

June 16, 2014
Doctors and scientists have for years been astonished to observe patients with kidney disease experiencing renal regeneration. The kidney, unlike its neighbor the liver, was universally understood to be a static organ once ...

Post-op kidney risk reduced in 'off-pump' patients

June 4, 2014
(Medical Xpress)—Among patients undergoing coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, those who were not put on a heart-lung machine (off-pump) had a reduced risk of postoperative kidney injury compared to patients who ...

Cutting edge methods reveal what makes Purkinje neurons unique

June 5, 2014
In a collaboration between RIKEN's Brain Science Institute and Center for Life Science Technologies in Japan, scientists combined cutting edge methods to obtain a comprehensive catalogue of proteins that are manufactured ...

Acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease each a risk of the other

July 2, 2014
Acute kidney injury (AKI) and chronic kidney disease (CKD) are closely intertwined, with each disease a risk factor for developing the other and sharing other risk factors in common, as well as sharing causes for the diseases ...

Risk of kidney disease doubled with use of fluoroquinolone antibiotics

June 3, 2013
The risk of acute kidney disease is doubled for people taking oral fluoroquinolone antibiotics, according to a study of published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Recommended for you

A multimodal intervention to reduce one of the most common healthcare-acquired infections

March 16, 2018
Surgical site infections are the most frequent health care-associated infections in developing countries. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), this type of infection can affect up to one-third of surgical patients ...

New imaging approach offers unprecedented views of staph infection

March 14, 2018
Eric Skaar, PhD, MPH, marvels at the images on his computer screen—3-D molecular-level views of infection in a mouse. "I'm pretty convinced that these are the most advanced images in infection biology," said Skaar, Ernest ...

Parasitic worms need their intestinal microflora too

March 14, 2018
Scientists at The University of Manchester have cast new light on a little understood group of worm infections, which collectively afflicts 1 in 4 people, mainly children—in the developing the world.

Compound scores key win in battle against antibiotic resistance

March 14, 2018
Researchers at Oregon State University have made a key advance in the fight against drug resistance, crafting a compound that genetically neutralizes a widespread bacterial pathogen's ability to thwart antibiotics.

Helicobacter creates immune system blind spot

March 13, 2018
The gastric bacterium H. pylori colonizes the stomachs of around half the human population and can lead to the development of gastric cancer. It is usually acquired in childhood and persists life-long, despite a strong inflammatory ...

Taking the jab (and the chill) out of vaccination

March 13, 2018
Scientists in Cairns (Australia) and Cardiff (Wales) have taken an important first step towards solving two problems that hinder access to vaccines: they need to be kept cool, and no one likes needles.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.