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.

Related Articles


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 31, 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 31, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Jaguar Land Rover Opens $800 Million Factory in Britain

Jaguar Land Rover Opens $800 Million Factory in Britain

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) British luxury car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover opened a $800 million engine manufacturing centre in western England, creating 1,400 jobs. Duration: 00:45 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
SkyCruiser Concept Claims to Solve Problem With Flying Cars

SkyCruiser Concept Claims to Solve Problem With Flying Cars

Buzz60 (Oct. 30, 2014) A start-up company called Krossblade says its SkyCruiser concept flying car solves the problem with most flying car concepts. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots Get Funky on the Dance Floor

Robots Get Funky on the Dance Floor

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Dancing, spinning and fighting robots are showing off their agility at "Robocomp" in Krakow. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
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