Protein interactions direct cellular functions and their responses to pathogens and are important therapeutic targets. Scientists from the GSF Research Centre for Environment and Health have recently developed a method enabling simultaneous visualization of individual proteins and their interactions in living cells.
This is achieved by engineering the proteins to constantly emit red or blue fluorescent signals and to produce an additional yellow fluorescent signal upon interaction (see image below). Dr. Ruth Brack-Werner, Director of the GSF Institute of Molecular Virology (IMV) explains the decisive advantage of the new approach: “ In previous assays, signals were generated only by interacting proteins, whereas the individual partners remained undetected. However, the absence of signals could not be used to rule out protein interactions since the absence of one or both interaction partners would have the same effect. To overcome this problem Brack-Werner and her team developed the so-called extended bimolecular fluorescence complementation (exBiFC) which allows simultaneous monitoring of individual proteins and their interactions.
Brack-Werner and her colleagues’ groundbreaking research work focusses on mechanisms that control replication of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS. “HIV replication is based on the interaction of cellular proteins with viral proteins. Interactions involving viral regulatory factors have a direct impact on the amount of virus produced by the HIV host cell”, Brack-Werner explains. “Preventing HIV proteins from interacting with their crucial partners is a promising approach to developing novel therapies.”
Therefore the GSF-scientists developed and validated exBiFC with the HIV Rev protein, which is an accelerator of HIV production. Various assays investigating Rev interactions in artificial settings indicate that the activity of Rev depends on the interaction of Rev molecules with each other and with cellular proteins. The latter include Exportin 1, which transports proteins from the nucleus to the cytoplasm and RISP, a modulator of HIV gene expression discovered by the Brack-Werner team in previous studies.
Brack-Werner and her team demonstrated that exBIFC allows visualization of interactions of Rev with itself and with Exportin1 and RISP in living cells. In addition they were able to compare the strengths of the interactions of Rev with its partners by analysing the intensities of the signals in cell images.
ExBiFC has a wide range of potential appllications and represents an important tool for the elucidation of protein interaction networks and discovery of novel antiviral factors. Thus exBIFC has an enormous potential in the battle against leading global health problems such as infectious diseases and cancers.
Michael van den Heuvel | alfa
Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH
Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
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...
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...
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...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences