• Are genetic differences the primary reason for susceptibility and severity of COVID-19?
    SARS-CoV-2 infected ACE2-iPS cells. Cells stained red for pluripotency marker and green for SARS-Cov-2 NP using Rabbit Polyclonal Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Antibody. Image courtesy of Dr Kazuo Takayama
  • Dr Kazuo Takayama.

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Are genetic differences the primary reason for susceptibility and severity of COVID-19?

Jun 30 2021

How can iPSCs and organoids  be used in COVID-19 drug discovery research?

Dr Kazuo Takayama from the renowned Center for iPS Cell Research and application (CiRA) at Kyoto University has given a unique insight into his pioneering research that has successfully modelled the SARS-CoV-2 life cycle in undifferentiated iPSCs - which were previously uninfectable.

It has been widely reported that genetic differences are a primary reason for differences in the susceptibility and severity of COVID-19. As induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells maintain the genetic information of the donor, they can be used to model individual differences in SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro. The CiRA team headed by Dr Takayama reported on results demonstrating that human iPS cells expressing the SARS-CoV-2 receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) (ACE2-iPS cells) can be infected with SARS-CoV-2. Further data was shown illustrating how SARS-CoV-2 life cycle can be reproduced in the ACE2-iPS cells, how COVID-19 candidate drugs can be evaluated using ACE2-iPS cells and how ACE2-iPS cells can reproduce individual differences in SARS-CoV-2 infection.
 
The presentation, given at ISSCR 2021, was sponsored by AMSBIO in association with the manufacturers of Stemfit® cell culture media, iMatrix™ recombinant laminin extracellular matrix and STEMCELLBANKER® cryopreservation solutions. 

Dr Takayama commented: “Since we used eight ACE2-iPS cell lines in this study, we used a very large volume of Stemfit® medium and iMatrix ECM. Although many cells are required for COVID-19 drug evaluation, iPS cells cultured with Stemfit® and iMatrix™ have a high replication capacity, so that sufficient cell numbers can easily be prepared and can easily be cryopreserved as required using STEM-CELLBANKER®.”

Stemfit® is the leading feeder-free medium for ES/iPS cell culture that combines superior expansion rates with lower media usage. iMatrix™ Recombinant Laminin-511 is a high -performance cell culture matrix, compatible with a wide range of cell types that is particularly well suited to iPSCs. iMatrix-511 provides a speedy non-coating protocol and offers superior cell binding compared to multiple other cell culture substrates. STEM-CELLBANKER® is a chemically defined, animal-free GMP-grade cryopreservation media, optimised for ES/iPS cells. STEM-CELLBANKER® maintains cell pluripotency, normal karyotype, and proliferation post thaw whilst also providing consistent high cell viability. All these products are available and supported internationally by AMSBIO.

AMSBIO has posted a recording of the presentation on their website


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