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 Molecular Spies to Fight Cancer - Procedure for improving tumor diagnosis successfully tested
03.08.2015 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf

nachricht Stroke: news about platelets
03.08.2015 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Glaciers melt faster than ever

Glacier decline in the first decade of the 21st century has reached a historical record, since the onset of direct observations. Glacier melt is a global phenomenon and will continue even without further climate change. This is shown in the latest study by the World Glacier Monitoring Service under the lead of the University of Zurich, Switzerland.

The World Glacier Monitoring Service, domiciled at the University of Zurich, has compiled worldwide data on glacier changes for more than 120 years. Together...

Im Focus: Quantum Matter Stuck in Unrest

Using ultracold atoms trapped in light crystals, scientists from the MPQ, LMU, and the Weizmann Institute observe a novel state of matter that never thermalizes.

What happens if one mixes cold and hot water? After some initial dynamics, one is left with lukewarm water—the system has thermalized to a new thermal...

Im Focus: On the crest of the wave: Electronics on a time scale shorter than a cycle of light

Physicists from Regensburg and Marburg, Germany have succeeded in taking a slow-motion movie of speeding electrons in a solid driven by a strong light wave. In the process, they have unraveled a novel quantum phenomenon, which will be reported in the forthcoming edition of Nature.

The advent of ever faster electronics featuring clock rates up to the multiple-gigahertz range has revolutionized our day-to-day life. Researchers and...

Im Focus: Superfast fluorescence sets new speed record

Plasmonic device has speed and efficiency to serve optical computers

Researchers have developed an ultrafast light-emitting device that can flip on and off 90 billion times a second and could form the basis of optical computing.

Im Focus: Unlocking the rice immune system

Joint BioEnergy Institute study identifies bacterial protein that is key to protecting rice against bacterial blight

A bacterial signal that when recognized by rice plants enables the plants to resist a devastating blight disease has been identified by a multi-national team...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

3rd Euro Bio-inspired - International Conference and Exhibition on Bio-inspired Materials

23.07.2015 | Event News

Clash of Realities – International Conference on the Art, Technology and Theory of Digital Games

10.07.2015 | Event News

World Conference on Regenerative Medicine in Leipzig: Last chance to submit abstracts until 2 July

25.06.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

“Seeing” molecular interactions could give boost to organic electronics

03.08.2015 | Materials Sciences

Stroke: news about platelets

03.08.2015 | Life Sciences

Molecular Spies to Fight Cancer - Procedure for improving tumor diagnosis successfully tested

03.08.2015 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>