Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Technique For Specifying Location Of Sugars On Proteins Paves Way For Medical Discoveries

Date:
November 6, 2009
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
Researchers have previously been able to analyse which sugar structures are to be found on certain proteins, but not exactly where on the protein they are positioned.

Researchers have previously been able to analyse which sugar structures are to be found on certain proteins, but not exactly where on the protein they are positioned. This is now possible thanks to a new technique developed at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

The technique entails preparing samples in a new way and is a development of applied mass spectrometry. Presented in the latest issue of the journal Nature Methods, the technique will enable medical researchers to study the mechanisms behind diseases in more detail and, with luck, find new ways of treating them.

"When we developed the method, we were analysing cerebrospinal fluid from healthy subjects and could see that many proteins had sugar structures previously unknown to us," says Jonas Nilsson, a researcher at the Department of Clinical Chemistry and Transfusion Medicine at the Sahlgrenska Academy. "We know that some of these proteins play a role in diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, and now it's possible to study whether faults in these sugar structures are responsible for the development of the disease."

There are more than 20,000 proteins in the human body. These proteins ensure that the instructions from the genes are carried out. Around half of them have sugar structures on their surface consisting of chains of sugar molecules. These sugar structures mean that the protein can be recognised by other proteins. Some of these structures can act as a locking mechanism when proteins bind to cells and other proteins. Sugar structures are also found on the surface of cells, where they determine, among other things, which blood group we belong to.

"Sugar structures often play an important role in how a cell or protein functions and how it affects different systems in the body," says Nilsson. "Being able to study them in more detail is a major step forward for biomedical research."

The chains of sugars in these structures are attached to the proteins at only one end. The new technique entails attaching a plastic bead to the loose end of these chains and separating the sugared proteins from those that do not have sugar structures. The proteins are then chopped into pieces and the sugar chain is released from the plastic bead, leaving the sugar chain attached to a chunk of protein known as a peptide. The researchers can then study the sugar structure on the peptide and see which protein the peptide belonged to and where on the protein it sat.

Mass Spectrometry

Mass spectrometry is an analytical method which can be used to determine the mass of positive or negative ions. The method can also be used to identify large molecules such as proteins and measure how much of a particular protein a sample contains. Mass spectrometry has been developed over a period of almost a century and is now one of the most important analytical techniques in modern biomedical research.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Nilsson et al. Enrichment of glycopeptides for glycan structure and attachment site identification. Nature Methods, 2009; DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.1392

Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "New Technique For Specifying Location Of Sugars On Proteins Paves Way For Medical Discoveries." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091019122840.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2009, November 6). New Technique For Specifying Location Of Sugars On Proteins Paves Way For Medical Discoveries. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091019122840.htm
University of Gothenburg. "New Technique For Specifying Location Of Sugars On Proteins Paves Way For Medical Discoveries." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091019122840.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gulfstream G500, G600 Unveiling

Gulfstream G500, G600 Unveiling

Flying (Oct. 20, 2014) Watch Gulfstream's public launch of the G500 and G600 at their headquarters in Savannah, Ga., along with a surprise unveiling of the G500, which taxied up under its own power. Video provided by Flying
Powered by NewsLook.com
Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Japanese Scientists Unveil Floating 3D Projection

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 20, 2014) Scientists in Tokyo have demonstrated what they say is the world's first 3D projection that floats in mid air. A laser that fires a pulse up to a thousand times a second superheats molecules in the air, creating a spark which can be guided to certain points in the air to shape what the human eye perceives as an image. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

3BL Media (Oct. 20, 2014) Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-fuel Impala Video provided by 3BL
Powered by NewsLook.com
What We Know About Microsoft's Rumored Smartwatch

What We Know About Microsoft's Rumored Smartwatch

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) Microsoft will reportedly release a smartwatch that works across different mobile platforms, has a two-day battery life and tracks heart rate. 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