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 October 22, 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 October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) Police in Gary, Indiana are using cadaver dogs to search for more victims after a suspected serial killer confessed to killing at least seven women. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Visitors to Belgrade zoo meet a pair of three-week-old lion cubs for the first time. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
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


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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