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Researchers discover 'Trojan Horse' method of penetrating cellular walls without harm
Date:6/25/2014

COLLEGE STATION Scientists with Texas A&M AgriLife Research have found a "Trojan horse" way to deliver proteins into live human cells without damaging them.

The finding, published in this month's Nature Methods, is expected to be easily adopted for use in medical research to find cures and treatments for a wide range of diseases, according to the team's lead scientist, Dr. Jean-Philippe Pellois, an associate professor of biochemistry at Texas A&M University.

"This is something that for many years people have tried to do, because proteins are basic components of the cell. They are the molecules that are doing all kinds of jobs inside the cell," Pellois said. "Being able to deliver a protein to change or study what the cell is doing is extremely useful."

Scientists with Texas A&M AgriLife Research have found a "Trojan horse" way to deliver proteins into live human cells without damaging them. Part of the team, shown here from the left, were graduate students Alfredo Erazo-Oliveras of Puerto Rico, Kristina Najjar of Lebanon and Dr. Jean-Philippe Pellois, Texas A&M University biochemist. (Texas A&M AgriLife Research photo by Kathleen Phillips)

Scientists with Texas A&M AgriLife Research have found a "Trojan horse" way to deliver proteins into live human cells without damaging them. Part of the team, shown here from the left, were graduate students Alfredo Erazo-Oliveras of Puerto Rico, Kristina Najjar of Lebanon and Dr. Jean-Philippe Pellois, Texas A&M University biochemist. (Texas A&M AgriLife Research photo by Kathleen Phillips)

Currently, scientists use different methods to try to figure out how molecules work inside a cell. In general, a scientist can deliver the DNA that codes for the protein into a cell, but that requires crossing the cell membrane, which damages or kills the cell, he explained. Also, the amount of protein produced by DNA expression is hard to control, and the DNA introduced can also alt
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Contact: Kathleen Phillips
ka-phillips@tamu.edu
979-845-2872
Texas A&M AgriLife Communications
Source:Eurekalert  

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