Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Using synthetic biology to label proteins precisely

Date:
March 24, 2011
Source:
European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)
Summary:
Scientists have developed a new method which enables researchers to label any protein of their choice with any of a wide variety of previously available compounds, in living cells, by introducing a single artificial amino acid.

Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, have developed a new method which enables researchers to label any protein of their choice with any of a wide variety of previously available compounds, in living cells, by introducing a single reactive artificial amino acid.

Published in Angewandte Chemie, the new technique enables researchers to label even rare proteins very precisely for optical imaging and in the future likely also for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Carsten Schultz, Edward Lemke and colleagues tricked the cell's protein-synthesising machinery into replacing one of the protein's building blocks -- amino acids -- with an artificial amino acid variety that is suitable for performing biocompatible chemical reactions. This artificial amino acid was tailor-made by the EMBL scientists to ensure that the cell's spell-checking machinery couldn't detect it, and once it had been incorporated into the protein of interest, it acted as a loading site to which different labels can be attached, in what is called a catalyst-free 'click' reaction.

This novel technique has several advantages. It allows researchers to use the most efficient fluorescent dyes, enabling high-contrast fluorescence microscopy. And, as it involves changing only one of the hundreds of amino acids that typically make up a protein, it causes much less disturbance to the cell than previous approaches, which depended on introducing much larger molecules.

Schultz, Lemke and colleagues engineered the 'click' reaction so that it is the act of binding to it that turns on a fluorescent label. This ensures very precise measurements, as there is little background signal from unattached dye.

Having developed this method initially in the bacterium E. coli, the EMBL scientists are now working on implementing it in mammalian cells like our own.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Tilman Plass, Sigrid Milles, Christine Koehler, Carsten Schultz, Edward A. Lemke. Genetically Encoded Copper-Free Click Chemistry. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2011; DOI: 10.1002/anie.201008178

Cite This Page:

European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). "Using synthetic biology to label proteins precisely." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110324104906.htm>.
European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). (2011, March 24). Using synthetic biology to label proteins precisely. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110324104906.htm
European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). "Using synthetic biology to label proteins precisely." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110324104906.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

AP (Sep. 20, 2014) The San Diego Zoo has welcomed two Cheetah cubs to its Safari Park. The nearly three-week-old female cubs are being hand fed and are receiving around the clock care. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) 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:
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