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Chemists develop reversible method of tagging proteins
Date:9/16/2012

ental biochemical pathways that we still don't fully understand," he said. "We're now learning how these basic biosynthetic enzymes work. A large majority of drugs are derived from natural products and many future medicines can result from these pathways. There's a great interest now in synthetic biology, using these pathways to make new antibiotics or new anti-cancer drugs. They're all regulated by these same types of interactions."

The UC San Diego chemists say their method of tagging and removing chemical probes from proteins should also have wide application as a general laboratory tool to visualize and track proteins on living cells, as well as manipulate them outside of the cell.

"One could attach a tag, such as biotin, that would allow the protein to be purified. Then one can clip off the tag and attach a fluorescent molecule to monitor protein interaction with other molecular partners," said Burkart. "The method could also be used for studying living cells, such as observing protein expression levels throughout the cellular life cycle. We certainly see that as a possible application."

"Dr. Burkart's new labeling technique gives scientists an unprecedented way to probe the complex catalytic machineries involved in the biosynthesis of natural products," said Barbara Gerratana of the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of General Medical Sciences, which partially funded the work. "The technology will help scientists harness these natural biochemical pathways to synthesize novel molecules for uses in a broad array of areas, including basic biomedical research and drug discovery."


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Contact: Kim McDonald
kmcdonald@ucsd.edu
858-534-7572
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert

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