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Imaging Single Molecules Opens New Way To Study Gene Expression, Protein Production

Date:
March 16, 2006
Source:
NIH/National Institute Of General Medical Sciences
Summary:
A team led by NIH Director's Pioneer Award recipient X. Sunney Xie, PhD, of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., has developed new imaging methods to track gene expression and the production of individual protein molecules in single, living cells. This technical tour de force opens the way to studying the expression of many important proteins, including those that exist in low numbers in the cell and therefore cannot be investigated using current techniques.
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A team led by NIH Director's Pioneer Award recipient X. Sunney Xie, Ph.D., of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., has developed new imaging methods to track gene expression and the production of individual protein molecules in single, living cells. This technical tour de force, published in papers in this week's issues of Science and Nature, opens the way to studying the expression of many important proteins, including those that exist in low numbers in the cell and therefore cannot be investigated using current techniques.

Xie's methods provide precise, quantitative data on single molecular events rather than averaged data from large groups of molecules. Averaged data--from standard genetic, biochemical, and microscopic techniques--often masks critical information about the regulation of specific genes.

This research was also supported by the NIH's National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). Other federal funding came from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The findings appear in "Probing Gene Expression in Live Cells--One Protein Molecule at a Time," by Ji Yu, Jie Xiao, Xiaojia Ren, Kaiqin Lao, and X. Sunney Xie, published in Science on March 17, 2006; and in "Stochastic Protein Expression in Individual Cells at the Single Molecule Level," by Long Cai, Nir Friedman, and X. Sunney Xie, published in Nature on March 16, 2006.


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NIH/National Institute Of General Medical Sciences. "Imaging Single Molecules Opens New Way To Study Gene Expression, Protein Production." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 March 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060316092803.htm>.
NIH/National Institute Of General Medical Sciences. (2006, March 16). Imaging Single Molecules Opens New Way To Study Gene Expression, Protein Production. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 23, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060316092803.htm
NIH/National Institute Of General Medical Sciences. "Imaging Single Molecules Opens New Way To Study Gene Expression, Protein Production." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060316092803.htm (accessed May 23, 2017).

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