Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New path discovered for future generation of glucose-measuring biosensors

15.01.2013
CIC bioGUNE researchers have opened a new pathway for the future development of biosensors that enable measuring the glucose in the blood, but which are also believed to be more reliable with other fluids, such as urine.
To this end, a complex scientific process has been developed which has called into question a dominant paradigm amongst the scientific community with respect to the mechanisms of binding and communication between proteins.

The mechanisms of communication at subcellular level are based on the interaction between proteins or between proteins and metabolites and other ligands. These phenomena help to explain the immense majority of protein functions in living organisms, but it is essential to this end that each protein knows exactly to which ligand it has to bind.

To date it has been widely accepted within the scientific community that there was a double binding mechanism between proteins, differentiated and isolated like two independent processes: some proteins bind with just one mechanism known as ‘induced fit’ (the protein takes the shape of the ligand during the association process), while others do so exclusively through a mechanism known as ‘conformational selection’ (in the same way that each lock requires a key with specific characteristics, the bind between a protein and a ligand will depend if their shapes make such a fit possible).

However, in this research, Dr. Oscar Millet, from the Structural Biology Unit at CIC bioGUNE, and published in the November issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, refutes this paradigm and puts forward the idea that slight modifications using genetic engineering introduced into the hinge regions between two proteins are sufficient to alter the binding mechanism itself.

For the development of this research, two bacterial periplasmic binding proteins were taken as a model. These proteins bind through a spectacular conformational change (closing two domains round a hinge region) and which is similar to the process that carnivorous plants use to trap insects between their fleshy lobes.

“The main result of our work has shown that both mechanisms are intimately connected and that we can go from one to another just by introducing small modifications in the protein,” explained Óscar Millet.

“Not only have we understood this mechanism, but we have seen that the difference between this induced fit and the conformational selection is very subtle; they are actually not two independent processes – but everything is, in fact, connected. Nature is always subtle, and small variations to the chemical composition of the hinge lead us from one mechanism to the other,” added the CIC bioGUNE researcher.

“This mechanism is completely governed by the hinge region to the point that by exchanging the hinges using genetic engineering, the change of mechanism also occurs: the GGBP with the RBP hinge acts through the induced fit mechanism and vice versa, and the RBP with the GGBP hinge binds to the substratum through the lock-and-key mechanism,” Dr Millet explained.

“Understanding the mechanism by which periplasmic proteins trap glucose to insert it into the cells opens the possibility of using these molecules as biosensors”, explained Dr Millet. Thanks to these, glucose concentration could be measured in fluids other than blood, for example urine. This would make the process easier and would provide more reliable data than the traditional glucose concentration measurement methods in the blood of diabetes patients.

The techniques currently used can only give an approximate measurement of blood glucose concentration, as there are other substances that hide it. Any advance, therefore, in the search for new diagnosis methods will improve the control of the disease.

Diabetes

It is very important for diabetes patients to measure their glucose concentration, as diabetes is a serious chronic disorder that affects more than 300 million people worldwide, and 5 million in Spain. This metabolic disease is caused by low production of a hormone – insulin – in the pancreas or when the body does not use this hormone properly. Insulin is involved in the transport of glucose to the interior of the cells, which turn it into useful energy.

In diabetics, the low generation of insulin or inadequate usage in the body leads to an excessive blood glucose concentration and causes many symptoms such as tiredness, weight loss, neuropathies, problems of vision and, in extreme cases, death.

Irati Kortabitarte | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.elhuyar.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Nanoparticle Exposure Can Awaken Dormant Viruses in the Lungs
16.01.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Cholera bacteria infect more effectively with a simple twist of shape
13.01.2017 | Princeton 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: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice

17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>