Navigation Links
Biocapture surfaces produced for study of brain chemistry
Date:12/13/2007

A research team at Penn State has developed a novel method for attaching small molecules, such as neurotransmitters, to surfaces, which then are used to capture large biomolecules. By varying the identity and spacing of the tethered molecules, researchers can make the technique applicable to a wide range of bait molecules including drugs, chemical warfare agents, and environmental pollutants. Ultimately, the researchers also hope to identify synthetic biomolecules that recognize neurotransmitters so that they can fabricate extremely small biosensors to study neurotransmission in the living brain.

In the brain, dozens of different small signaling molecules interact with thousands of large receptive proteins as part of the fundamental communication process between nerve cells. This cacophony of specific interactions is highly dependent on nanoscale molecular structure. One key to advancing our understanding of how the brain works is to identify the nature of the association between neurotransmitters and their binding partners. The technique of producing these high-affinity materials will be published in January 2008 in the journal Advanced Materials by a research team headed by Anne Milasincic Andrews, associate professor of veterinary and biomedical sciences, and including Paul S. Weiss, distinguished professor of chemistry and physics.

The process starts with a self-assembled monolayer (SAM), a single-molecule-thick layer that organizes itself on a surface. The molecules that make up the SAM terminate in and expose oligoethyleneglycol units that are known to prevent adhesion of proteins and other large biomolecules. Next, tether molecules are inserted into the defects that naturally occur in the SAM. Finally, a small molecule, in this case the neurotransmitter serotonin, is chemically linked to the tether molecules. Since the defects in the SAM occur at irregular but controllable intervals, serotonin molecules are prevented from clumping together. This is key to their being recognized by the correct proteins.

When the surface is exposed to a solution containing many different proteins, only those with high affinities for the tethered small molecule selectively attach to the surface. The bound protein molecules can then be identified in place or removed for characterization. "The tethered neurotransmitter acts like a fishing pole," says Andrews. "When the small molecule 'bait' is correctly placed on the surface, it captures much larger molecules that interact with it in a biologically specific way."

As a result of this inherent selectivity, it is possible to identify biomolecules, by function, from a sea of thousands of different types of molecules. Weiss adds, "The key to obtaining a highly specific association is producing optimal spacing of the tethered neurotransmitters. The ideal spacing allows large molecules to recognize the functional groups of the small molecule while avoiding nonspecific binding to the surface itself."

Because of their selectivity, these materials are suitable for a variety of investigations in biological systems. "Each neurotransmitter can bind to a number of different receptors in the brain," says Andrews. "Some of these receptors are known, but there are many more to identify. Also, the numbers of receptors are altered in different disease states and in response to treatment, and these capture surfaces could be used to study how groups of functionally related proteins change in a coordinated fashion."


'/>"/>

Contact: Barbara K. Kennedy
science@psu.edu
814-863-4682
Penn State  
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New method reveals substances on surfaces of any kind
2. Childhood obesity indicates greater risk of school absenteeism, Penn study reveals
3. A study by the MUHC and McGill University opens a new door to understanding cancer
4. Study begins to reveal clues to the cause and progression of sepsis
5. Clones on task serve greater good, evolutionary study shows
6. New study warns limited carbon market puts 20 percent of tropical forest at risk
7. New study examines how rearing environment can alter navigation
8. Study links cat disease to flame retardants in furniture and to pet food
9. New continent and species discovered in Atlantic study
10. Study shows link between alcohol consumption and hiv disease progression
11. Feeling hot, hot, hot: New study suggests ways to control fever-induced seizures
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Biocapture surfaces produced for study of brain chemistry
(Date:11/14/2016)... Inc. ("xG" or the "Company") (Nasdaq: XGTI, XGTIW), a ... challenging operating environments, announced its results for the third ... conference call to discuss these results on November 15, ... Key Recent Accomplishments The ... Vislink Communication Systems. The purchase is expected to close ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security ... solutions for the Biometric Exit Program. The Request for ... (CBP), explains that CBP intends to add biometrics to ... United States , in order to deter visa ... Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160622/382209LOGO ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... control systems is proud to announce the introduction of fingerprint attendance control software, allowing ... are actually signing in, and to even control the opening of doors. ... ... ... Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160609/377487 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2016)... BEIJING , Nov. 30, 2016 ... genomic services and solutions with cutting edge next-generation sequencing ... completed a USD $75 Million [515 Million RMB] B ... International Capital Management ( Shenzhen ) Co., ... ("SDIC Innovation") and Shanghai Sigma Square Investment Center LP ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... -- Part of 5m$ Investment in Integrated Drug ... , ... today announced that it had successfully completed the expansion of ... increased the Screening Collection to over 400,000. The new compounds ... the company. This expansion, complemented by new robotics and compound ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... ... November 30, 2016 , ... SSCI, the established leader in small-molecule cocrystal ... the latest FDA guidance on pharmaceutical cocrystals as drug substance . The ... , The event follows the successful November 15th event that took place in ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... , ... November 30, 2016 , ... ... the development of a new orally administered treatment for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), today ... of a Phase 2a clinical trial of T3D-959 in mild to moderate Alzheimer’s ...
Breaking Biology Technology: