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).

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 July 30, 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 July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Drone King Says the Revolution Depends on Regulators

China's Drone King Says the Revolution Depends on Regulators

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Comparing his current crop of drones to early personal computers, DJI founder Frank Wang says the industry is poised for a growth surge - assuming regulators in more markets clear it for takeoff. Jon Gordon reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand

3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand

AP (July 30, 2014) 3-D printing is a cool technology, but it's not exactly a hands-on way to make things. Enter the 3Doodler: the pen that turns you into the 3-D printer. AP technology writer Peter Svensson takes a closer look. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Newsy (July 29, 2014) A report from the White House warns not curbing greenhouse gas emissions could cost the U.S. billions. 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:
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