Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nanoparticles aid microscopic detection of protein relevant for cancer

Date:
June 16, 2014
Source:
INM - Leibniz-Institut für Neue Materialien gGmbH
Summary:
Assemblies of proteins have important functions in cells. But because they are very small, their composition from subunits can only be determined indirectly or with extreme time-effort. Scientists are currently developing a novel microscopy technology for the direct detection of such individual subunits of protein complexes in the cell membrane of intact cells. The methodology is applied to investigate a protein complex acting as a calcium channel in the cell membrane. The channel plays an important role in prostate cancer.

Niels de Jonge at the STEM: microscopic detection of a protein relevant for cancer.
Credit: Image courtesy of INM - Leibniz-Institut für Neue Materialien gGmbH

Assemblies of proteins, known as protein complexes, have important functions in cells; protein complexes embedded in the cell membrane, for example, are responsible for the exchange with the extracellular environment. But because they are very small, their composition from subunits can only be determined indirectly or with extreme time-effort.

Scientists at the INM -- Leibniz Institute for New Materials are currently developing a novel microscopy technology for the direct detection of such individual subunits of protein complexes in the cell membrane of intact cells. The methodology is applied to investigate a protein complex acting as a calcium channel in the cell membrane. The channel plays an important role in prostate cancer.

With the new analytical technique, the scientists employ electron microscopy to examine protein complexes in whole cells in their natural aqueous environment. The protein in question, the TRPV6 calcium channel forming protein, is first provided with an "anchor" to which a gold nanoparticle can bind. Each nanoparticle thus shows the position of a protein subunit so that the composition of the channels from a multiple of proteins and their locations become visible as they are in the living cell.

The cells are examined in tiny liquid chambers using the electron microscope. "Liquid specimens cannot be studied with traditional electron microscopy," explains Professor Niels de Jonge, head of the Innovative Electron Microscopy group at the INM. Cells are typically studied in dry state via thin sectioning of solid dried plastic embedded or frozen material, which means that the proteins are no longer in their intact and natural environment. Using tiny liquid chambers the whole cells can now be examined in an aqueous environment. The chambers are made from silicon microchips and have very thin, electron transparent silicon nitride windows.

Research by the electron microscopy experts at the INM is focussing on two aims: "We are keen to perfect our new technology and demonstrate that its application is useful for biological and pharmaceutical research." Researchers at the INM are therefore working closely with scientists from the Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Toxicology Department at the Saarland University.

Background: Liquid STEM is an electron microscopy method developed by Niels de Jonge. STEM stands for Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy, a microscopy modality in which a sample is raster scanned by an electron beam and electrons transmitted through the sample are detected. Liquid refers to the application of STEM for specimens in liquid.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by INM - Leibniz-Institut für Neue Materialien gGmbH. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

INM - Leibniz-Institut für Neue Materialien gGmbH. "Nanoparticles aid microscopic detection of protein relevant for cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140616093202.htm>.
INM - Leibniz-Institut für Neue Materialien gGmbH. (2014, June 16). Nanoparticles aid microscopic detection of protein relevant for cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140616093202.htm
INM - Leibniz-Institut für Neue Materialien gGmbH. "Nanoparticles aid microscopic detection of protein relevant for cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140616093202.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) — If you've ever watched "Back to the Future Part II" and wanted to get your hands on a hoverboard, well, you might soon be in luck. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) — Researchers in South Korea are developing a robotic pilot that could potentially replace humans in the cockpit. Unlike drones and autopilot programs which are configured for specific aircraft, the robots' humanoid design will allow it to fly any type of plane with no additional sensors. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) — British scientists have developed a prototype graphene paint that can make coatings which are resistant to liquids, gases, and chemicals. The team says the paint could have a variety of uses, from stopping ships rusting to keeping food fresher for longer. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) — Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
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