Navigation Links
New laser technique opens doors for drug discovery
Date:3/15/2011

A new laser technique has demonstrated that it can measure the interactions between proteins tangled in a cell's membrane and a variety of other biological molecules. These extremely difficult measurements can aid the process of drug discovery.

Scientists estimate that about 30 percent of the 7,000 proteins in a human cell reside in the cell's membrane and that these membrane proteins initiate 60 to 70 percent of the signals that control the operation of the cell's molecular machinery. As a result, about half of the drugs currently on the market target membrane proteins.

Despite their importance, they are difficult to study. . Individual membrane proteins are extremely hard to purify, so scientists have very little structural information about them. In addition, existing methods to measure their activity have serious limitations. Most existing assays remove the membranes from their natural environment or modify the membranes in a variety of different ways, such as attaching fluorescent labels, in order to analyze membrane protein activity.

"In addition to being expensive and time-consuming, these modifications can affect the target membrane's function in unpredictable ways," said Vanderbilt Professor of Chemistry Darryl Bornhop, who developed the new technique.

By contrast, in an article published online March 13 by the journal Nature Biotechnology, Bornhop's research group and their collaborators at The Scripps Research Institute, report that the laser-based technique, called backscattering interferometry (BSI), can precisely measure the binding force between membrane proteins and both large and small molecules in a natural environment.

"This is a powerful tool and a major advance in measuring membrane protein interactions," said Lawrence Marnett, director of the Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology and Mary Geddes Stahlman Professor of Cancer Research. He was not involved in the study but is planning on collaborating with the Bornhop group.

Lasers aid measurement

BSI is deceptively simple. It measures the binding force between two molecules mixed in a microscopic liquid-filled chamber by shining a red laser like those used in barcode scanners through it. When the geometry of the chamber is correct, the laser produces an interference pattern that is very sensitive to what the molecules are doing. If the molecules begin sticking together, for example, the pattern begins to shift.

In the new study, the researchers created synthetic membranes that contained a small protein, called GM1, that is a primary target that cholera toxins bind with in order to get into a cell. When they mixed these membranes with cholera toxin B, they measured a binding force consistent with that obtained by other methods.

The researchers performed similar validation tests with naturally derived membranes and three membrane proteins, one associated with breast cancer, another associated with pain and inflammation and the neurotransmitter GABA known to aid in relaxation and sleep and to regulate anxiety.

When they mixed the membranes containing each of these proteins with molecules known to bind with them, the BSI technique provided measurements that agreed with the values obtained by other methods, the scientists reported.

Patents pending

Vanderbilt has applied for and received three patents on the process and has several other patents pending.

The university has issued an exclusive license to develop the technology to Molecular Sensing, Inc. Bornhop is one of the founders of the start-up and serves as its chief scientist.


'/>"/>

Contact: David F. Salisbury
david.salisbury@vanderbilt.edu
615-343-6803
Vanderbilt University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Minimally invasive surgeries: Laser suturing
2. Laser Technology Might Help Doctors Diagnose Melanoma
3. Lasers ID deadly skin cancer better than doctors
4. Smart lasers could make cancer biopsies painless, help speed new drugs to market
5. Colorful brains, cooling lasers, disease-detecting lights and more
6. Mayo Clinic finds early success with laser that destroys tumors with heat
7. Portable laser devices to improve disease diagnosis
8. Laser may reduce prostate surgerys sexual side effects
9. NIST researchers measure high infrared power levels from some green lasers
10. The Laser Warehouse Increases its Inventory of Used Cosmetic Lasers to Meet Growing Demand
11. Skin Laser and Surgery Specialists Offers New eMatrix™ Treatment for Acne Scarring
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
New laser technique opens doors for drug discovery
(Date:6/26/2016)... Aliso Viejo, California (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... for Final Cut Pro X. , "Film editors can give their videos a whole ... artistically," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Levels ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... Experts from the American Institutes for ... Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. , AIR ... care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. , AIR researchers will ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest ... as the Medical Director of its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are ... Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of moderation, whether it’s a matter of ... too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even self-loathing. However, those who set the ... Research from PsychTests.com reveals that behind the tendency to set low expectations ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone to extreme mood ... something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If there was a ... children and say he was going to kill them. If we were driving on ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... June 27, 2016  VMS Rehab Systems, Inc. ( ... take whatever measures required to build a strong and ... is currently listed on the OTC Markets-pink current trading ... and CEO, "We are seeing an anomaly in market ... not only by the Company, but shareholders and market ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Collagen Matrix, ... design, development and manufacturing of collagen and mineral ... announced today that Bill Messer has ... Marketing to further leverage the growing portfolio of ... devices. Bill joins the Collagen Matrix ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Dublin - ... " Global Markets for Spectroscopy Equipment" report ... This report focuses on the global market of ... applications in various applications. The report deals with spectroscopy ... industries: pharmaceutical and biotechnology, food and beverage, and environmental ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: