Project: Humanized high-throughput co-culture system for motor neuron diseases

Acronym NMJ-Chip (Reference Number: JPND2019-466-146)
Project Topic Neuromuscular junction (NMJ) disruption is a key event in motor neuron disease. The goal of this proposal is to develop a new personalized high-throughput drug-screening device for testing NMJ function in motor neuron diseases. We will use patient-derived Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs) of human motor neurons and muscles, to develop a unique personalized medicine platform that will allow us to test the effect of drugs on the health of motor unit disease. Omics analysis of patient’s biopsy will identify suspected metabolic/signaling pathways for specific small molecule screens. Candidate drugs will be applied to the motor neuron cell-body, and/or NMJs compartments to test its spatial effects on the motor unit. The validation procedure will test drug beneficial effects on motor neuron death, axon degeneration and NMJ activity using patients’ co-culture system. Finally, bioinformatic analysis will be tailored to characterize and match the patient’s proteome/transcriptome/genome profile with promising drugs candidates. Integration of our unique, diverse, yet complementary skills and knowledge is necessary for completion of the project, and can only be achieved by our joint efforts. As our team members are located in different countries their close and seamless interactions will be secured by sharing skills, knowledge, documents and reagents. Toward this end, beside student exchange and yearly meetings, we will establish a dedicated account for international conference calls and cloud services for real-time, multi-directional communications.

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Tel-Aviv University Coordinator Israel
2 CNRS/ University of Montpellier Partner France
3 Istituto per lo studio, la prevenzione e la rete oncologica Partner Italy
4 Jagiellonian University Partner Poland
5 Universtity of Cologne Partner Germany
6 Erasmus University Rotterdam Partner Netherlands
7 CNRS Partner France
8 Hacettepe University Partner Turkey