Foundations for molecular surgery

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This paper presents an approach of molecular and enzymatic surgery for treatment of human diseases, including opportunity for use of systemic biology methods in planning of surgical interventions, possible biological components of a " molecular
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  Foundations for molecular and enzymatic functional surgery Ilya Klabukov  I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Institute for regenerative medicine, Moscow, Russia Abstract This paper presents an approach of molecular and enzymatic surgery for treatment of human diseases, including opportunity for use of systemic biology methods in planning of surgical interventions, possible biological components of a “molecular scalpel”, and problems of standardization, medical ethics and clinical trials of the new pharma-surgical toolbox. In conclusions is proposed to consider of molecular and enzymatic surgery methods as realization of the principles of “ functional surgery ”  and also further development of fast track surgery with attaining the modern concept of a personalized approach to surgical treatment of the patient.  Keywords: engineering biology, enzymatic surgery, molecular surgery, synthetic biology, systems biology.   INTRODUCTION Surgical  principles, united by the term “functional surgery”  imply the performance of organ-preserving surgeries, often minimally invasive and aimed at correcting the body's systems while maintaining anatomy and restoring normal functions. In the XX century laparoscopic techniques, robotic assisted operations, Fast Track Surgery and Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) concepts, etc. are exemplified the implementation of this principles. Modern molecular biology and biophysics expand these examples to perform functional operations at the molecular level [1]. Synthetic biology is an emerging field at the interface between biology and engineering, which has generated many expectations for beneficial biomedical and biotechnological applications [2]. However, the synthetic biology approach involves repetition or combination of existing biological solutions (recombinant proteins, BioBrick  ’s  parts, etc.). Engineering biology approach can be used to manipulate bioinformatics data and molecules for construct living systems to process chemicals, produce energy, provide food, and help maintain or enhance human health and our environment [3]. Engineering biology approach allows to present of molecular surgery's targets and tools as a united multilevel system (Pic. 1). Earlier developed toolbox models like TASBE (Tool-Chain to  Accelerate Synthetic Biological Engineering) [4], ATPG algorithms for cancer therapy [5], etc. are the cornerstone of this approach. Pic. 1 . Multilayer model of molecular interventions in living organisms with engineering tools. The use an approach of systems and synthetic (engineering) biology allows to implement the advanced bioengineering concepts for “synthetic morphogenesis”  [6] and “ organ bud ” [7], as well as toolbox for molecular and enzymatic surgery. SURGERY ON MOLECULAR LEVEL The idea of surgery at the molecular level was first put forward by Nobel laureate Richard Feynman in 1959 [8] as an example of the potential use of nanoscale mechanisms for medical purposes. Further the concept of interventions at the molecular and tissue levels for changing the phenotype of tissues received its instrumental solution in the form of genetic engineering tools. The term “ molecular surgery ”  was first formulated in 1966 to describe the intervention on cell activity at the DNA level [9]. Further terminology has gained development in the concept of systems of genome editing (“ surgery of genes ”) [10], molecular surgery of cancer [11], etc. Recently developed genome editing systems (based on CRSPR/Cas9, TALEN, ZFN) for therapeutic purposes allow to restore/recreate the normal cellular phenotype and, as a consequence, the normal functionality of pathologically altered tissues. Today the systems of molecular surgery for the treatment of cardiomyopathies, sickle-cell anemia and oncological diseases are in clinical studies. The use of these methods for early therapy of fatal illness is extremely progressive. On  Tab. 1 are presented of examples of targets for molecular surgery and the classification of molecular actions mechanism types. Table 1 . Examples of target for molecular surgery (surgical therapy). Disease / pathology Target Theoretical mechanism of action Type of mechanism Primary sclerosing cholangitis More than 33 loci Genetic improvement of genome mutations in human epithelial cells. M1 : Genome editing of single phenotype cells for restoration of normal tissue functions. Duchenne muscle dystrophy Dystrophin gene Genetic improvement or replacement of Dystrophin gene in somatic cells. Cystic fibrosis CFTR gene Genetic improvement of CFTR gene in somatic cells. M2 : Genome/epigenome editing of single phenotype cells for the prevention of development of pathological process and the possibility for rehabilitation. Gallbladder diseases Regulation of cholangiocytes transcriptomics / biliary microbiome engineering Correction of secretion functions of cholangiocytes and/or biliary microbiota interventions. M3 : Genome/epigenome editing of local group of cells (e.g. in organ) for restoration of normal function or regulation of proliferative activity of cells. Chronic pancreatitis Pancreatic cell ’ s regulation Increasing of stress resistance M4 : Genome/epigenome editing of several types of cells to obtain the system effect during the rehabilitation. Infertility Genes CFTR, PTPN11, SF1, etc. Correction of genes implicated in infertility and their regulation M5 : Genome / epigenome / transcriptome editing of germ cells. Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy mtDNA mutations Genetic improvement of mtDNA mutations. M6 : Genome editing of mitochondrial DNA. Epilepsy Neuronal cells Regulation of electrical activity of the brain ’s cells  M7 : Genome/epigenome editing of neuronal cells. The use of molecular surgery methods does possible treatment of genetic diseases (genome level), diseases associated with pathological regulation of genes (transcriptome level), diseases associated with pathological proteoforms of proteins (proteome level) [12], diseases associated with the noise in genetic networks (epigenome level) and allows for interventions in prenatal and postnatal period (incl. adults). ENZYMATIC SURGERY Correction of large-scale tissue defects is the goal of another discipline  –   an “ enzymatic surgery ” . The term “enzymatic surgery” was first formula ted in 1981 to describe processes of DNA  repair by special enzymes [13], but further the use of this methods has extended on manipulation with cells and tissues for example as a new treatment modality for burns [14]. Although today enzymes are mainly used for the treatment of digestive diseases, but the use of specific delivery systems allows for large-scale interventions to remodel pathologically altered tissues, for example, by delivering metalloproteinases to destroy proliferating fibrous tissue. The development of the enzymatic surgery is associated with selection of high-specific delivery vectors (cells, monoclonal antibodies, single-chain antibodies and fragments thereof), but also with the withdrawal and deactivation of toxic products and their utilization with the  patient’s own organs (liver, gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, lungs, glands, etc.). The good example of prototype of enzymatic surgery agent are the nanoparticles with biocomputing capabilities could potentially be used to create sophisticated autonomous nanodevices on DNA/RNA-based computing techniques [15]. On Tab. 2 are presented of examples of targets for enzymatic surgery and the classification of enzymatic actions mechanism types. Table 2 . Examples of target for enzymatic surgery (surgical therapy). Disease / pathology Target Theoretical mechanism of action Type of mechanism Hepatic cirrhosis Connective tissue Local destruction of connective tissue components in liver. E1 : Local destruction of extracellular structures (e.g. ECM). Retinal detachment Retina ’s cellular environment Prevention of retinal detachment by local inhibition of vessel growth. E2 : Activation/suppression of inter-cellular signaling and cells reception. Appendicitis Gut microbiota components Suppression of biological activity of microbiota-induced inflammation factors (both molecules and cells). Down syndrome Copy of the 21st chromosome Destruction or inactivation of 3nd copy of the 21st chromosome in all somatic cells or only stem cells in human body. E3 : Destruction of intra-cellular structures (e.g. chromatin). Peritonitis Toxic metabolites Selective binding of toxic metabolites E4 : Selective inactivation of metabolites / debriding to prevent of body intoxication. Cholecystoduodenal fistula Coup injury Scaffold formation E5 : Assembling of materials for morphological reconstruction A correction of the spatial organization of enzymatic agents in a human body and an adjustment of physiological influence are required an external control facilities using of physical fields by the operator-surgeon (acoustic impact and electromagnetic, laser, infrared radiation, etc.). It seems advisable to development of an enzymatic toolbox for both functional and plastic surgery (proliferation under control of enzymatic agents and otherwise).    MOLECULAR TOOLBOX : A NEW PRECISION SCALPEL The effectiveness and specificity of systems of molecular and enzymatic surgery are associated with the improvement of delivery vectors. Highly specific delivery to target tissues can be carried out through cell-based vectors, viral systems (AAV, HIV, HSV, etc.), RNA-protein complexes and bactofection agents. The use of gene therapy opportunities has allowed a molecular surgery of cancer diseases [16] and in 1992 the first time are discussed with FDA a permission of virus therapy for treatment of inoperable glial tumors. The reconciliation processes continued until 2015, when the FDA first approved therapy using oncolytic viruses [17]. Now the concept of toolbox of a “ molecular scalpel ” can be defined as conjugates with biological molecules (proteins and DNA/RNA conformations), cells, nanoparticles and control loops through physical fields (laser, infrared radiation, sonic waves, etc.) and physiological signaling (cellular environment, transcriptomic and metabolomic patterns, peripheral neurosignaling, etc.) (Pic. 2). Pic. 2 . Toolbox of the “m olecular scalpel ”  components. With regard to the traumatic nature of large-scale minimally invasive molecular operations, it can be assumed that recovery processes of this will be faster than in modern Fast Track Surgery techniques [18]. The key roles of “ surgical team 2.0” will be an bioengineer with an operator-surgeon (as well as in robotic assisted operations) [19].
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