Kavli Affiliate: Jeffrey M. Friedman
| Authors: Lisa E Pomeranz, Rosemary Li, Xiaofei A Yu, Leah Kelly, Gholamreza Hassanzadeh, Henrik Molina, Daniel Gross, Matthew I Brier, George Vaisey, Putianqi Wang, Maria Jimenez-Gonzalez, Adolfo Garcia-Ocana, Jonathan Dordick, Jeffrey M. Friedman and Sarah A Stanley
The ability to precisely control the activity of defined cell populations enables studies of their physiological roles and may provide therapeutic applications. While prior studies have shown that magnetic activation of ferritin-tagged ion channels allows cell-specific modulation of cellular activity, the large size of the constructs made the use of adeno-associated virus, AAV, the vector of choice for gene therapy, impractical. In addition, simple means for generating magnetic fields of sufficient strength have been lacking. Toward these ends, we first generated a novel anti-ferritin nanobody that when fused to transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1, TRPV1, enables direct binding of the channel to endogenous ferritin in mouse and human cells. This smaller construct can be delivered in a single AAV and we validated that it robustly enables magnetically induced cell activation in vitro. In parallel, we developed a simple benchtop electromagnet capable of gating the nanobody-tagged channel in vivo. Finally, we showed that delivering these new constructs by AAV to pancreatic beta cells in combination with the benchtop magnetic field delivery stimulates glucose-stimulated insulin release to improve glucose tolerance in mice in vivo. Together, the novel anti-ferritin nanobody, nanobody-TRPV1 construct and new hardware advance the utility of magnetogenetics in animals and potentially humans.