Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Relocation of Proteins with a New Nanobody Tool

11.04.2017

Researchers at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel have developed a new method by which proteins can be transported to a new location in a cell. The novel tool enables scientists to study the function of proteins depending on their position by using nanobodies. The tool can be used for a wide range of proteins and in various areas of developmental biology. The scientific journal eLife has published the results.

The research group of Markus Affolter is investigating the growth of the wings of the fruit fly Drosophila to understand which processes control organ development and growth. Proteins that control such growth processes are the focus of their investigations.


Nanobodies (pink) in the wing precursor of a fruit fly larva.

University of Basel, Biozentrum

In this context, not only the composition of the proteins is important, but also their position which can influence protein function. The new nanobody tool of the Affolter research team allows the relocation of proteins and thus to study their function in a position-dependent manner.

Novel tool for all GFP-bound proteins

A repositioning of the proteins of interest requires a labeling with the green fluorescent protein (GFP). Subsequently, so-called anti-GFP nanobodies, small antibody fragments derived from camels, are then used to bind and to move the GFP-tagged proteins to a new site in the living organism. The nanobody itself is linked to a signal protein that defines the destination of the target protein.

Thus, the nanobody forces the GFP-tagged protein into a new position. “Even if we do not know exactly the composition and structure of a protein, we can label it with GFP and control the destination site by using nanobodies,” says Stefan Harmansa, one of the two first authors.

Artificial relocation with nanobodies

The researchers were able to transfer proteins to a new site, internal or external to the cell. “By transporting proteins to new locations, we can observe whether their function changes or not and whether development is affected,” says Ilaria Alborelli, also one of the first authors of the study.

So far, scientists have been restricted in relocating proteins. The new nanobody tool, however, makes it possible to easily and efficiently change the position of all GFP-tagged proteins and thus explore their functions. The Affolter group has already been successful in investigating the growth of Drosophila wings using this nanobody tool. By interfering with the signaling molecule Dpp in a position-dependent manner, the scientists have been able to show more precisely its influence on wing growth.

In the future, the new nanobody tool can be used for a wide variety of studies on organ growth and in various other areas of developmental biology. With this concept, the growth and the development of different cells and organs can be investigated in more detail.

The Affolter team also faces many new challenges. “We as developmental biologists are still confronted with urgent questions such as how an organism knows when it has to stop its growth. To put it succinctly, how does it work that arms or legs stop growing when they reach their correct length?”, says Stefan Harmansa. In the future, the novel tool may contribute to a better understanding of how organ growth is regulated.

Original source

Stefan Harmansa, Ilaria Alborelli, Dimitri Bieli, Emmanuel Caussinus and Markus Affolter
A nanobody-based toolset to investigate the role of protein localization and dispersal in Drosophila
eLife (2017), doi: 10.7554/eLife.22549

Further information

Prof. Dr. Markus Affolter, University of Basel, Biozentrum, tel. +41 61 207 20 72, email: markus.affolter@unibas.ch
Heike Sacher, University of Basel, Biozentrum, Communications, tel. +41 61 207 14 49, email: heike.sacher@unibas.ch

Heike Sacher | Universität Basel
Further information:
http://www.unibas.ch

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New catalyst controls activation of a carbon-hydrogen bond
21.11.2017 | Emory Health Sciences

nachricht The main switch
21.11.2017 | 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: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Previous evidence of water on mars now identified as grainflows

21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope completes final cryogenic testing

21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New catalyst controls activation of a carbon-hydrogen bond

21.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>