Navigation Links
Mimicking nature at the nanoscale: Selective transport across a biomimetic nanopore

Researchers at Delft University of Technology and the University of Basel have established a biomimetic nanopore that provides a unique test and measurement platform for the way that proteins move into a cell's nucleus. In the journal Nature Nanotechnology (June 19 - online), they report an artificial nanopore that is functionalized with key proteins which mimicks the natural nuclear pore. Upon testing the transport of individual proteins through the biomimetic pore, they found that most proteins cannot move through, but some specific ones can indeed pass. This is the hallmark of the intriguing selectivity that is also found in natural pores. The biomimetic pore is fully functional and can be used as a testing platform for studies of drug delivery into a cell's nucleus.

The nuclear pore complex

"Human cells have a nucleus, and proteins and RNA need to get in and out. This is regulated by small holes, called nuclear pore complexes. These are essential biological pores that act as gatekeepers of the cell nucleus. They transport proteins and RNA in and out of the nucleus in a highly selective manner, which means that some go through but others are blocked from passing. There is much debate on how this intriguing selectivity is achieved. Given the fact that it is very difficult to perform high-resolution measurements in the complex environment of the living cell, the exact mechanism is hard to resolve." Professor Cees Dekker, director of the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience at Delft and leader of this research, explains. In the new research by Dekker's group in collaboration with the group of dr. Roderick Lim of the University of Basel, they were able to make a biomimetic nanopore a synthetic pore that imitates the nuclear pore which acts as a new, powerful platform to monitor transport of individual proteins across.

Biomimetic nanopore

Dekker: "One promising approach to study this nuclear transport is biomimetics the development of synthetic systems that imitate biological structures and processes. Advances in nanotechnology now make it possible to study and shape matter at the nanometer scale, opening the way to imitate biological structures at the molecular level to both study and harness their ingenuity." The group of dr. Roderick Lim at the University of Basel purified the nuclear pore proteins and Dekkers group made the biomimetic nanopores of these by attaching these proteins to small holes in a solid-state support.


The new research, performed chiefly by lead author Stefan Kowalczyk, a graduate student in Dekkers lab, demonstrates that it is possible to establish a biomimetic nuclear pore and to monitor transport of individual proteins across the pore. Importantly, the biomimetic pore exhibits strong selectivity, just like the natural nuclear pore complex: ImpB proteins do pass the pores, whereas BSA proteins do not (as illustrated by the attached image). A differing degree of selectivity was found, depending on which exact nuclear pore proteins were used to functionalize the pore. The researchers have shown that the biomimetic pore is fully functional and can be used as a testing platform for studies of drug delivery into a cell's nucleus.


Contact: Prof. Cees Dekker
Delft University of Technology

Related biology news :

1. Mimicking nature, water-based artificial leaf produces electricity
2. Boston Univ., Veterans Affairs find sports brain trauma may cause disease mimicking ALS
3. Wildlife Conservation Society finds wild cat mimicking monkey calls
4. Some vocal-mimicking animals, particularly parrots, can move to a musical beat
5. GigaBlitz will turn high-resolution images of nature into global inventory of organisms, habitats
6. Nanotechnologists must take lessons from nature
7. How natures best ideas inspire innovative new technologies
8. Nature helps to solve a sticky problem
9. 2011 PerkinElmer Signature Genomic Laboratories Travel Award winner announced
10. Nature paper calls for carbon labeling
11. New data published in Nature Genetics demonstrate that tiny LNA-based compounds developed by Santaris Pharma A/S inhibit entire disease-associated microRNA families
Post Your Comments:
(Date:5/12/2016)... , a brand of Troubadour Research & ... Q1 wave of its quarterly wearables survey. A particular ... a program where they would receive discounts for sharing ... "We were surprised to see that so many ... CEO of Troubadour Research, "primarily because there are segments ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 First quarter 2016: ... up 966% compared with the first quarter of 2015 ... SEK 589.1 M (loss: 18.8) and the operating margin was 40% ... 0.32) Cash flow from operations was SEK 249.9 M ... revenue guidance is unchanged, SEK 7,000-8,500 M. The operating ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... 15, 2016  A new partnership announced today ... underwriting decisions in a fraction of the time ... and high-value life insurance policies to consumers without ... With Force Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and ... (blood pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, and activity data) ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016 Epic Sciences unveiled ... cancers susceptible to PARP inhibitors by targeting homologous ... (CTCs). The new test has already been incorporated ... multiple cancer types. Over 230 clinical ... response pathways, including PARP, ATM, ATR, DNA-PK and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Researchers at ... most commonly-identified miRNAs in people with peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the ... read it now. , Diagnostic biomarkers are signposts in the blood, lung fluid ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... UAS LifeSciences, one of the ... brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into Target stores nationwide. The company, which has been manufacturing ... to its list of well-respected retailers. This list includes such fine stores as ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has announced the ... biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" or ... of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors for ... as WDR5 represent an exciting class of therapies, ... medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances have been ...
Breaking Biology Technology: