Navigation Links
Carnegie Mellon researchers create fluorescent biosensor to aid in drug development
Date:7/29/2010

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a new fluorescent biosensor that could aid in the development of an important class of drugs that target a crucial class of proteins called G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs).

"Drugs that target GPCRs make up approximately 30 percent of all pharmaceuticals currently on the market, including some of the most prescribed drugs," said Jonathan Jarvik, the Carnegie Mellon professor who led the effort to develop the GPCR biosensor. "This prevalence makes assays for the receptors a billion dollar industry."

GPCRs are popular drug targets because of the pivotal role they play in cells' chemical communication circuits that are responsible for regulating functions critical to health, including circuits involved in heart and lung function, mood, cognition and memory, digestion and the inflammatory response. Found in the cell membrane, GPCRs interact with molecules responsible for cellular communication such as neurotransmitters and hormones. When one of the receptors encounters such a molecule, it relays a signal across the cell membrane that, in turn, initiates a response. After the response is triggered, the receptor retreats from the membrane into the cell's interior.

To create the GPCR biosensor, the research team used a new technology called fluoromodules. Invented by Carnegie Mellon's Molecular and Biosensor Imaging Center (MBIC), fluoromodules are probes that allow scientists to monitor the activities of individual proteins found in living cells in real-time. The probes are made up of two components: a fluorogen-activating protein (FAP) and a non-fluorescent dye called a fluorogen. The FAP is attached to the protein that is being studied, and the fluorogen is engineered to bind to the FAP. When the two meet, they cast off a glow that can be detected using a variety of methods, alerting researchers to the protein's location and activity. The FAP's fluorescence can be turned on and off by adding or removing the fluorogen, a characteristic that makes the fluoromodules more useful than other fluorescent proteins.

In the current study, which is published in the July issue of the Journal of Biomolecular Screening, Jarvik and colleagues engineered a fluoromodule that would readily determine when GPCR retreats from the cell membrane. The researchers genetically expressed a FAP fused to the beta2 adrenergic receptor (β2AR), a well-studied GPCR that is present in brain, heart, lung and other tissues. When the researchers introduced its associated membrane-impermeant fluorogen, it bound to the FAP-tagged GPCR on the cell surface, emitting a bright fluorescent glow. When the receptor was activated and had retreated into the cell, the fluorescence dimmed.

The new biosensor is notable, Jarvik said, because it looks directly at the receptor and provides what is known as a homogeneous, or mix-and-read, assay that can be scaled to screen large numbers of molecules to identify new drug leads.

The researchers are hopeful that this technology can be generalized across other receptors and cell-surface proteins, and are currently researching its broader applications.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jocelyn Duffy
jhduffy@andrew.cmu.edu
412-268-9982
Carnegie Mellon University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Carnegies Doug Koshland elected to National Academy of Sciences
2. Carnegies Chris Field elected to American Academy of Arts & Sciences
3. Carnegie Mellon researchers seek to control blood loss
4. Carnegie Mellons Sanna Gaspard named New Face of Engineering
5. Carnegie Mellon first to measure energy released from a virus during infection
6. Carnegie Mellons John Kitchin receives early career award
7. Carnegie Mellons Philip LeDuc discovers new protein function
8. Carnegie Mellon engineers develop machine that visually inspects and sorts strawberry plants
9. Carnegie Mellon researchers receive grant
10. Carnegie Mellon customizing electric cars for cost-effective urban commuting
11. Carnegie Mellon researchers to develop probes to study cellular GPS
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/5/2017)...  The Allen Institute for Cell Science today announces ... portal and dynamic digital window into the human cell. ... application of deep learning to create predictive models of ... a growing suite of powerful tools. The Allen Cell ... publicly available resources created and shared by the Allen ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... April 4, 2017   EyeLock LLC , a ... the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has ... the linking of an iris image with a face ... represents the company,s 45 th issued patent. ... very timely given the multi-modal biometric capabilities that have ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... 2017 The research team of The Hong ... fingerprint identification by adopting ground breaking 3D fingerprint minutiae recovery and ... speed and accuracy for use in identification, crime investigation, immigration control, ... ... A research team led ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/24/2017)... and WASHINGTON, DC, USA (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2017 , ... ... of the economy as well as an enabler of life-saving medical and other vital ... optics and photonics . They joined others in the scientific community today in responding ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... ... A recent survey conducted by the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) ... categories of broadleaf crops, fruits and vegetables, while common lambsquarters ranks as the weed ... in the 2016 survey, the second conducted by WSSA. A 2015 baseline survey ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 22, 2017 , ... A new Technology ... Diego, California, this August will feature high-level speakers on quantum devices, graphene electronic ... Optics and Photonics, the largest multidisciplinary optical sciences meeting in North America, will ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Bacterial biofilms, surface adherent communities of bacteria that are encased ... food poisoning and catheter infections to gum disease and the rejection of medical implants. ... dollars per year, there is currently a paucity of means for preventing their formation ...
Breaking Biology Technology: