Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Probe May Help Untangle Cells' Signaling Pathways

Date:
June 30, 2008
Source:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Summary:
Researchers have designed a new type of probe that can image thousands of interactions between proteins inside a living cell, giving them a tool to untangle the web of signaling pathways that control most of a cells' activities.

MIT researchers have designed a new type of probe that can image thousands of interactions between proteins inside a living cell, giving them a tool to untangle the web of signaling pathways that control most of a cell's activities.

"We can use this to identify new protein partners or to characterize existing interactions. We can identify what signaling pathway the proteins are involved in and during which phase of the cell cycle the interaction occurs," said Alice Ting, the Pfizer-Laubach Career Development Assistant Professor of Chemistry and senior author of a paper describing the probe published online June 27 by the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

The new technique allows researchers to tag proteins with probes that link together like puzzle pieces if the proteins interact inside a cell. The probes are derived from an enzyme and its peptide substrate. If the probe-linked proteins interact, the enzyme and substrate also interact, which can be easily detected.

To create the probes, the researchers used the enzyme biotin ligase and its target, a 12-amino-acid peptide.

Their work is conceptually related to an approach that uses GFPs (green fluorescent proteins), which glow when activated, as probes. Half of each GFP molecule is attached to the proteins of interest, and when the proteins interact, the GFP halves fuse and glow. However, this technique results in many false positives, because the GFP halves seek each other out and bind even when the proteins they are attached to are not interacting, said Ting.

The new probes could be used to study nearly any protein-protein interaction, Ting said. The researchers tested their probes on two signaling proteins involved in suppression of the immune system, and on two proteins that play a role in cell division. They are currently using the probe to image the interaction of proteins involved in synapse growth in live neurons.

Lead author of the paper is Marta Fernandez-Suarez, a graduate student in chemistry. Biology graduate student T. Scott Chen is also an author of the paper.

The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health and the McKnight, Dreyfus and Sloan Foundations.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "New Probe May Help Untangle Cells' Signaling Pathways." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080627163024.htm>.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (2008, June 30). New Probe May Help Untangle Cells' Signaling Pathways. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080627163024.htm
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "New Probe May Help Untangle Cells' Signaling Pathways." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080627163024.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

Reuters - US Online Video (July 21, 2014) An endangered black rhino baby is the newest resident at the San Diego Zoo. Sasha Salama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

AFP (July 19, 2014) As if it weren't enough that the Queen is the Sovereign of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms, she is also the owner of all Britain's unmarked swans. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins