The latest mitochondrial rejuvenation research project to be crowdfunded by the Lifespan.io and SENS Research Foundation teams focused on proving out allotopic expression of mitochondrial gene ATP8 in mice with a loss of function mutation in that gene. I'm pleased to note that the community rallied around and the project was fully funded, including its stretch goals.
Mitochondria have their own small genome; allotopic expression is the process of placing a copy of a mitochondrial gene into the nuclear genome, suitably altered to enable the proteins produced to find their way back to the mitochondria where they are needed. This backup source of proteins allows mitochondria to function normally even when their own DNA is damaged. The technique, when applied to single genes, allows for the treatment of inherited mitochondrial conditions, as demonstrated by Gensight Biologics. More importantly, however, when applied to all thirteen mitochondrial genes it will prevent mitochondrial DNA damage from contributing to the aging process.
The MitoMouse campaign has ended, and what a final few days it has been! Thanks to the efforts of the community, an amazing total of $77,525 has been raised in support of this mitochondrial repair project of the SENS Research Foundation. There were 319 people who backed the project and helped to make this the most successful fundraiser on Lifespan.io to date, even higher than the previous record breaker, the NAD+ mouse project. This is very impressive and shows that support for the field is growing and that the tide has really turned.
We would like to give special thanks to LongeCity.org, which generously stepped in once we reached the first stretch goal and agreed to fully fund the project all the way to the second stretch goal! Thanks to LongeCity, the project not only hit the final stretch goal, which greatly expanded the scope of the project, the total funds raised went well over that goal. We are confident that the extra money will be put to good use by the MitoMouse team, and a few more boxes of mouse food and laboratory supplies are sure to come in handy.
Big thanks to everyone who supported the project, including the team at SENS Research Foundation, John Saunders, the Foster Foundation, Patrick Deane, and the volunteers and staff at LEAF for pulling together to make this happen. Hopefully, MitoMouse will enjoy the same success as the previous MitoSENS project, and we will be one step closer to having a solution to mitochondrial damage and potential cures for inherited mitochondrial conditions as well as age-related diseases.