Integrating Epigenetic Modulators into NanoScript for Enhanced Chondrogenesis of Stem Cells
Sahishnu Patel†, Thanapat Pongkulapa†, Perry T. Yin‡, Ganesh N. Pandian§, Christopher Rathnam‡, Toshikazu Bando∥, Thangavel Vaijayanthi∥, Hiroshi Sugiyama*§∥, and Ki-Bum Lee*†‡
†Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology and ‡Department of Biomedical Engineering, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854-8087, United States
§Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS) and ∥Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan
N-(4-Chloro-3-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl)-2-ethoxybenzamide (CTB) is a small molecule that functions by altering the chromatin architecture to modulate gene expression. We report a new CTB derivative with increased solubility and demonstrate CTB’s functionality by conjugating it on the recently established NanoScript platform to enhance gene expression and induce stem cell differentiation. NanoScript is a nanoparticle-based artificial transcription factor that emulates the structure and function of transcription factor proteins (TFs) to effectively regulate endogenous gene expression. Modifying NanoScript with CTB will more closely replicate the TF structure and enhance CTB functionality and gene expression. To this end, we first conjugated CTB onto NanoScript and initiated a time-dependent increase in histone acetyltransferase activity. Next, because CTB is known to trigger the pathway involved in regulating Sox9, a master regulator of chondrogenic differentiation, we modifed a Sox9-specific NanoScript with CTB to enhance chondrogenic gene activity and differentiation. Because NanoScript is a tunable and robust platform, it has potential for various gene-regulating applications, such as stem cell differentiation.