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Stephen Lentz, Ph.D., develops innovative technique to visualize mitochondrial DNA replication

 

stephen lentz, ph.d.

ANN ARBOR, February 2010 — Stephen I. Lentz, Ph.D., is being recognized for developing a novel technique to examine how hyperglycemia regulates mitochondrial biogenesis by monitoring replication of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). He creatively combined Invitrogen products to visualize mtDNA replication in cell culture models.

Invitrogen is a leading biotechnology company that provides reagents for biomedical research. The company featured an article on the use of this technique in the March 2010 issue of BioProbes (Issue 62), their monthly publication. [This article, "Exposing mtDNA Biogenesis," was later named one of the top 10 online articles of 2010 by BioProbes.]

Dr. Lentz studies the effects of diabetes and hyperglycemia on the development and progression of peripheral neuropathy, in collaboration with Eva Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., in the Department of Neurology.  A method paper for labeling mtDNA was published and selected as the JHC Editor’s “Article of the Month” for the February 2010 issue of the Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry: “Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) Biogenesis: Visualization and Duel Incorporation of BrdU and EdU Into Newly Synthesized mtDNA In Vitro,” with co-authors J.L. Edwards, C. Backus, L.L. McLean, K.M. Haines and Eva Feldman.

This technique also was applied to recent work examining how sensory neurons respond to hyperglycemia, which Dr. Lentz published in the January 2010 issue of Diabetologia: “Diabetes regulates mitochondrial biogenesis and fission in mouse neurons” with co-authors J.L. Edwards, A. Quattrini, C. Figueroa-Romero, F. Cerri, C. Backus, Y. Hong and E.L. Feldman.

Steve Lentz is the laboratory director of the Morphology and Image Analysis Core of the Michigan Diabetes Research and Training Center. In 2010, he was promoted to Research Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Diabetes.

Find out more on the Morphology & Image Analysis Core.