Firefly compound lights up 'protein dance' in living animals

St. Louis, July 29, 2004 -- Radiologists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have developed a first-of-its-kind noninvasive imaging technique that allows them to watch two proteins interacting in live animals.

The technique genetically fuses proteins of interest with carefully cleaved sections of luciferase, the protein fireflies use to create light. When the target proteins interact, the sections of luciferase come together and create light that can be detected outside the body by a highly sensitive camera.

"Instead of looking at a protein by itself, this technique lets us see when two proteins come together and dance," says David Piwnica-Worms, M.D., Ph.D., professor of molecular biology and pharmacology and of radiology. "Those kinds of interactions are very important for many different processes, and they're also key to developing and evaluating new drugs."

Piwnica-Worms and colleagues demonstrated the technique's feasibility on human proteins that interact in the presence of the antibiotic rapamycin. The research appears today in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and will appear in print in the Aug. 17 issue of the journal.

According to Piwnica-Worms, understanding protein interactions has become much more important to biologists in recent years. "We've learned that the human genetic code only has a fraction of the genes we expected, and as a result it's become clear that the context of protein-to-protein interactions significantly affects what proteins can do," he explains. "That's what lets us get away with so few genes -- the same protein can do different things based on when or where it's used." Scientists have studied these interactions previously in cell cultures and in solutions obtained by carefully opening up cells. Luciferase has been used previously to identify the presence of molecules in the cell and in live animals, but this is the first time

Contact: Michael C. Purdy
Washington University School of Medicine

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Firefly molecule could quickly shed light on how well new drugs work
2. Firefly light illuminates course of herpes infection in mice
3. Summer Science: Firefly Babies Advertise Their Bitter Taste, UD Researchers Say
4. Anti-cancer compound in vegetables found to block late-stage breast-cancer cell growth
5. NJIT chemist speaks Aug. 25 about compound derived from pine tree
6. New compound could give some types of cancer the one-two punch
7. Scientists identify compounds that mimic calorie restriction
8. New compound highly efficacious at reducing human tumour growth
9. Wilex & Fox Chase Cancer Center begin trial w/ novel compound targeting tumor invasion & metastasis
10. New screening method turns up potential compound for treating anthrax
11. New, non-radioactive screen for antimalarial compounds

Post Your Comments:

(Date:5/21/2019)... ... May 20, 2019 , ... Dr. David Greene , ... The documentary, Stem Cell Therapy: Biotechnology to the Rescue, was produced by Award Winning ... Greene was interviewed in regards to the safety of the procedures along with the ...
(Date:5/21/2019)... Pa. (PRWEB) , ... May 20, 2019 , ... ... for the health care field, today announced a 96.15% pass rate for first-time ... of 2019. This surpasses the national average of 76.43% by nearly 20 points. ...
(Date:5/16/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... May 16, 2019 , ... In a ... and Technology in Rockville, Maryland, March 18-19 of this year, Asymmetrex founder ... the feasibility of standards for counting therapeutic adult tissue stem cells. Many of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/18/2019)... ... April 18, 2019 , ... Taking a ... includes a chemical engineer at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a novel ... possible to manufacture isobutanol and other biofuels more economically. , Isobutanol, like ethanol, ...
(Date:4/16/2019)... ANTONIO (PRWEB) , ... April 16, 2019 , ... ... human identification systems, applications, and technology, today announced that Bank South Pacific (BSP), ... a competitive RFP process. The bank awarded Fulcrum a contract to deliver a ...
(Date:4/12/2019)... (PRWEB) , ... April 12, 2019 , ... ... recent developments in neurotechnology and will educate about innovative tools and devices being ... your local listings for more information. , This segment of Advancements will focus ...
(Date:4/10/2019)... ... ... After more than three months of renovation, Lajollacooks4u is set to reveal its ... modern lighting and fixtures, and will provide additional workspace for the many guests who ... the demand for our team-building events and cooking classes over the last eleven years,” ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: