Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New method provides researchers with efficient tool for tagging proteins

30.07.2014

Aarhus University researchers have developed an easier method to create DNA–protein conjugates. The method can potentially strengthen the work involved in diagnosing diseases.

DNA linked to proteins – including antibodies – provides a strong partnership that can be used in diagnostic techniques, nanotechnology and other disciplines. DNA–protein conjugates – which tag proteins with DNA – can be used for purposes such as the sensitive detection and visualisation of biological material. The method also provides easier access to handling proteins in nanotechnology, where the DNA acts as a handle on the protein.


With a new method, researchers use a piece of DNA engineered to bind to metal ions. Using this ‘control stick’, they direct another piece of DNA to a metal binding site on the protein. Illustration: Nature Chemistry

Controlling the conjugation of macromolecules such as DNA and proteins can be quite a challenge when scientists want to join them in particular ways and places. Researchers at Aarhus University have now developed a new and efficient method to tag proteins with DNA, making it much simpler to control the process than previously. The new method was developed at the Danish National Research Foundation’s Centre for DNA Nanotechnology (CDNA) in collaboration between researchers at Aarhus University’s Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Centre (iNANO), Department of Chemistry and Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics. The work is described in the highly prestigious scientific journal Nature Chemistry.

“Maintaining the protein’s function and activity often requires the attachment of only a single DNA strand to the protein. At the same time, it can be important to know where the DNA strand is attached to the protein. You can normally only achieve this if you are working with genetically engineered proteins. This is a time-consuming and technically challenging process,” explains PhD student Christian B. Rosen, CDNA, Aarhus University – one of the researchers behind the new method.

The new method makes it possible to direct the tagging of proteins with DNA to a particular site on the protein, without genetically modifying the protein beforehand. In other words, it is possible to tag natural proteins, including antibodies.

The researchers use a piece of DNA that is engineered to bind to metal ions. Using this ‘control stick’, they direct another piece of DNA to a metal binding site on the protein, where it reacts. A considerable number of proteins bind metal ions, which makes them suitable for this method. A significant point in using this method is that the tagged proteins retain their functionality after being bound to DNA.

The researchers are applying for a patent for the new method, which has potential in a number of areas.

“Of greatest importance is the fact that we can use our technique for tagging antibodies. Antibodies that are chemically bound (conjugated) to chemotherapeutics represent an entirely new class of medicine in which the antibody part is used to recognise specific tissue and the chemotherapeutic part is used to kill the cell. When you tag antibodies, it’s important that you keep the recognition element of the antibody intact. With our method, we strike the constant part of the antibody and not the variable part, which contains its recognition element. Our technique is therefore general for a major class of proteins,” explains Anne Louise Bank Kodal, CDNA, another author of the article.

The researchers are working on further developing the method so they can attach chemotherapeutics to antibodies and not just DNA.

Read the article in Nature Chemistry.

For more information, please contact

PhD student Christian B. Rosen
CDNA at iNANO and Department of Chemistry
crosen@chem.au.dk

PhD student Anne Louise Bank Kodal
CDNA at iNANO and Department of Chemistry
alkodal@chem.au.dk

Postdoctoral Fellow Thomas Tørring
CDNA at iNANO (currently at Yale University, USA)
thomas.torring@yale.edu

Professor and Director Kurt Gothelf
CDNA at iNANO and Department of Chemistry
kvg@chem.au.dk

Christian B. Rosen | Eurek Alert!
Further information:
http://scitech.au.dk/en/current-affairs/news/show/artikel/ny-metode-giver-forskere-et-effektivt-vaerktoej-til-maerkning-af-proteiner/

Further reports about: Aarhus Antibodies Controlling DNA Molecular Nanoscience Nanotechnology Nature function ions method protein proteins

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Single-stranded DNA and RNA origami go live
15.12.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard

nachricht New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists
15.12.2017 | Louisiana State University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>