Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'MaMTH' advance: New technology sheds light on protein interactions

Date:
March 24, 2014
Source:
University of Toronto
Summary:
Scientists have a better way to study human proteins -- large molecules that are part of every cell in the body -- thanks to a new technology. The technology tracks a class of proteins called membrane proteins as they interact with other proteins to either maintain health or contribute to disease.

“This technology gives us a new tool to examine membrane proteins in their natural environment of the human cell,” said Igor Stagljar, a Professor in the Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Toronto

Scientists have a better way to study human proteins -- large molecules that are part of every cell in the body -- thanks to a new technology developed by University of Toronto researchers. The technology tracks a class of proteins called membrane proteins as they interact with other proteins to either maintain health or contribute to disease.

Membrane proteins make up about one third of all proteins in the human body, and their malfunction is associated with more than 500 diseases. But they've been hard to study because understanding their role depends on observing their interactions with other proteins.

"This technology gives us a new tool to examine membrane proteins in their natural environment of the human cell," said Igor Stagljar, a Professor in the Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research. "As well, it's sensitive enough to detect minor changes upon introduction of drugs, so it should prove useful in the development of therapeutics, particularly for cancer and neurological diseases."

The journal Nature Methods published the research online today.

Stagljar and his colleagues also applied the new technology, which they dubbed MaMTH (for Mammalian-Membrane Two-Hybrid assay), to identify a protein that plays a role in the most common form of lung cancer called non-small cell lung cancer.

That protein, CRKII, interacts with another protein called an epidermal growth factor receptor. Mutation of this receptor -- which is already the target of several cancer drugs either approved or in development -- causes a proliferation of cancer cells.

"CRKII most likely regulates the stability of mutated epidermal growth factor receptors and drives cancer growth by promoting signaling, or communication, within cancer cells," said Julia Petschnigg, lead author on the paper and a postdoctoral fellow at U of T. "We found that a combinatorial chemotherapy that inhibits those mutated receptors and CRKII could be beneficial in treating lung cancer."

The research was highly collaborative, involving cancer clinicians, bioinformaticians and researchers in five labs around Toronto and Boston. Stagljar and his lab spent four years developing the MaMTH technology, which they adapted from a similar technology that captures protein-protein interactions in yeast.

Next, the group will apply their technology to study some of the 500 proteins that are mutated in other human diseases.

"You simply cannot publish meaningful research in proteomics without collaborating," said Stagljar, who is also a Professor in the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics. "Fortunately, we have access to great cross-disciplinary expertise and infrastructure in the Donnelly Centre. Science is alive and well in Toronto."


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Julia Petschnigg, Bella Groisman, Max Kotlyar, Mikko Taipale, Yong Zheng, Christoph F Kurat, Azin Sayad, J Rafael Sierra, Mojca Mattiazzi Usaj, Jamie Snider, Alex Nachman, Irina Krykbaeva, Ming-Sound Tsao, Jason Moffat, Tony Pawson, Susan Lindquist, Igor Jurisica, Igor Stagljar. The mammalian-membrane two-hybrid assay (MaMTH) for probing membrane-protein interactions in human cells. Nature Methods, 2014; DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.2895

Cite This Page:

University of Toronto. "'MaMTH' advance: New technology sheds light on protein interactions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140324104600.htm>.
University of Toronto. (2014, March 24). 'MaMTH' advance: New technology sheds light on protein interactions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140324104600.htm
University of Toronto. "'MaMTH' advance: New technology sheds light on protein interactions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140324104600.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 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:
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