Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Live Recordings Of Cell Communication

Date:
October 13, 2009
Source:
University of Copenhagen
Summary:
A new advanced method for nano-scale imaging of vesicle-fusion could add to our understanding of diseases of the nervous system and viral infections. In the long term, this could be useful in developing a cure for neurological diseases and mental disorders (e.g. schizophrenia, depression, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease).

Researchers determine shape and size of the contact area between vesicle and membrane by measuring colour intensity from flourescent molecules. Right: Vesicle marked by acceptor flourescent molecules that light up when close to donor molecules (left). Middle: A plot of the same, calculated FRET.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Copenhagen

A new advanced method for nano-scale imaging of vesicle-fusion could add to our understanding of diseases of the nervous system and viral infections. In the long term, this could be useful in developing a cure for neurological diseases and mental disorders (e.g. schizophrenia, depression, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease).

Related Articles


Neurons communicate with each other with the help of nano-sized vesicles. Disruption of this communication process is responsible for many diseases and mental disorders such as depression. Nerve signals travel from one neuron to another through vesicles -- a nano-sized container loaded with neurotransmitter molecules. A vesicle fuses with the membrane surrounding a neuron, releases neurotransmitters into the surroundings that are detected by the next neuron in line. However, we still lack a more detailed understanding of how the fusion of vesicles occurs on the nano-scale.

Associate Professor Dimitrios Stamou, Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology and Nano-Science Center explains: "Contact between vesicles and membranes are an essential step in many important biological processes. We can now quantify contact areas formed between vesicles and determine the vesicle size and shape with nano-scale resolution. This helps us characterise the properties of the molecules involved in vesicle-fusion. The new method opens great new prospects for the research of neurological and infectious diseases".

Images on the nano-scale

The researchers are using a method called FRET or Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer. The method is well known, but what is new is the way the researchers are using it. They produce vesicles in the laboratory, which contain fluorescent donor molecules, and membranes fixed to a surface. The fixed membranes contain acceptor fluorescent molecules. Only when the two different fluorescent molecules are near to each other will light be emitted, which researchers can measure as a sign of vesicle fusion. By measuring the emitted light the researchers found new ways to determine the vesicle shape with nano-scale resolution in real-time.

"We have lacked a method for measuring the fusion of vesicle and membrane on a nano-scale at the moment the process occurs. Until now it has only been possible to get a still image of the process with high resolution, or live images with low resolution. With the new method we can quantify the changes in vesicle shape live i.e. during fusion, and with nanoscale resolution," explains Dimitrios Stamou.

This research was recently published in PNAS (July 28, 2009 vol. 106 no. 30 12341-1234.)


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University of Copenhagen. "Live Recordings Of Cell Communication." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090806080345.htm>.
University of Copenhagen. (2009, October 13). Live Recordings Of Cell Communication. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090806080345.htm
University of Copenhagen. "Live Recordings Of Cell Communication." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090806080345.htm (accessed November 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, November 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

NSA Director: China Can Damage US Power Grid

NSA Director: China Can Damage US Power Grid

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) China and "one or two" other countries are capable of mounting cyberattacks that would shut down the electric grid and other critical systems in parts of the United States, according to Adm. Michael Rogers, director of the National Security Agency and hea Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Latest Minivan Crash Tests Aren't Pretty

Latest Minivan Crash Tests Aren't Pretty

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) Five minivans were put to the test in head-on crash simulations by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Takata Offers "sincerest Condolences" To Victims of Malfunctioning Airbag

Takata Offers "sincerest Condolences" To Victims of Malfunctioning Airbag

Reuters - US Online Video (Nov. 20, 2014) U.S. Congress hears from a victim and company officials as it holds a hearing on the safety of Takata airbags after reports of injuries. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
DARPA Creates The Tech You Can Only Dream Of

DARPA Creates The Tech You Can Only Dream Of

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) Curious what a rocket-dodging car would look like? How about a robotic pack mule? Or maybe a wearable robot? These are a few of DARPA's projects. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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