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 The herbivore dilemma: How corn plants fights off simultaneous attacks
09.02.2016 | Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research

nachricht Shedding Light on Bacteria
09.02.2016 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: New study: How stable is the West Antarctic Ice Sheet?

Exceeding critical temperature limits in the Southern Ocean may cause the collapse of ice sheets and a sharp rise in sea levels

A future warming of the Southern Ocean caused by rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere may severely disrupt the stability of the West...

Im Focus: Superconductivity: footballs with no resistance

Indications of light-induced lossless electricity transmission in fullerenes contribute to the search for superconducting materials for practical applications.

Superconductors have long been confined to niche applications, due to the fact that the highest temperature at which even the best of these materials becomes...

Im Focus: Wbp2 is a novel deafness gene

Researchers at King’s College London and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in the United Kingdom have for the first time demonstrated a direct link between the Wbp2 gene and progressive hearing loss. The scientists report that the loss of Wbp2 expression leads to progressive high-frequency hearing loss in mouse as well as in two clinical cases of children with deafness with no other obvious features. The results are published in EMBO Molecular Medicine.

The scientists have shown that hearing impairment is linked to hormonal signalling rather than to hair cell degeneration. Wbp2 is known as a transcriptional...

Im Focus: From allergens to anodes: Pollen derived battery electrodes

Pollens, the bane of allergy sufferers, could represent a boon for battery makers: Recent research has suggested their potential use as anodes in lithium-ion batteries.

"Our findings have demonstrated that renewable pollens could produce carbon architectures for anode applications in energy storage devices," said Vilas Pol, an...

Im Focus: Automated driving: Steering without limits

OmniSteer project to increase automobiles’ urban maneuverability begins with a € 3.4 million budget

Automobiles increase the mobility of their users. However, their maneuverability is pushed to the limit by cramped inner city conditions. Those who need to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Travel grants available: Meet the world’s most proficient mathematicians and computer scientists

09.02.2016 | Event News

AKL’16: Experience Laser Technology Live in Europe´s Largest Laser Application Center!

02.02.2016 | Event News

From intelligent knee braces to anti-theft backpacks

26.01.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Travel grants available: Meet the world’s most proficient mathematicians and computer scientists

09.02.2016 | Event News

Body temperature triggers newly developed polymer to change shape

09.02.2016 | Materials Sciences

Using renewable energy in heating networks more efficiently

09.02.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>