Scientists from China have transformed green tea in the «syringe» for gene therapy

© Fotolia / olyina Tea partyScientists from China have transformed green tea in the «syringe» for gene therapy© Fotolia / olyina Subscribe to a daily e-mail of RIA Science

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Substances contained in green tea, can be used as a kind of «syringe» to deliver molecules of DNA and RNA inside of human cells and other living beings. Write about the genetics, published an article in the journal ACS Central Science.

«Our method is not only compatible with RNA, but with short segments of DNA, different DNA-enzymes or their protein counterparts. It opens the way for the creation of a universal delivery systems for gene therapy into cells, work under any circumstances,» write Cheng Jun (Cheng Yiyun) from East China normal University in Shanghai and his colleagues.

Today, scientists are creating transgenic animals and trying to cure a congenital disease, using a few regarding unsafe ways of entering the new DNA into the cell or by using ultra-fine needles, which «pierced» the egg, or with the help of retroviruses, whose «fighting» part is changed to useful genetic code.

Such operations can lead to fatal consequences in the result of damage to the sheath cells of a failed insertion, or the development of immunological response to the virus.

Both is not an obstacle for experiments in laboratories, but it is extremely difficult to transfer the results of experiments into medical practice. For this reason, biologists, engineers, and biotechnologists are actively looking for today the methods of «direct» input DNA into the cell, which would not lead to her death or damage.

June and his team suddenly discover a very simple, safe and effective method of delivery of some types of gene therapy into the cells by experimenting with various compounds present in green tea extract.

Many of them, as the researchers note, not only have anticancer and antioxidant properties but also are able to turn into nanoparticles, able to penetrate cells and deliver various medications. In addition, they combine well with RNA molecules and DNA, and allow you to package them in a compact «balls».

This idea has prompted Chinese researchers to believe that such nanoparticles can be used for «packing» gene therapy and protect her from the attention of the immune system and internal protection systems of the cell. Guided by similar considerations, genetics made a small portion of nanoparticles of a short RNA molecules that block specific genes and the chemical EGCG, one of the main antioxidants of green tea.

These «green nanoparticle», as he called his creation the Jun and his colleagues, the researchers tested for the culture of cancer cells whose DNA has been modified so that they are constantly radiated a green glow.

The nanoparticles successfully penetrated 80% of the cells and suppressed genes responsible for the production of light without massive mortality during the week of experiments. Subsequent experiments showed that «green nanoparticle» can successfully penetrate inside cells that can infect even the most «infectious» retroviruses.

Similarly, these nanoparticles have proven in experiments on mice, suppressing genes that provoke a massive loss of intestinal cells in acute poisoning or other problems with his work.

As I hope June and his colleagues, their offspring will quickly find its place in science and medicine through the use of well researched and safe substances contained in tea and other «gifts of nature».