Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers observe thousands of protein switches

10.09.2015

Each cell comprises approximately 12,000 proteins, which act like small machines to carry out various cellular processes. Researcher of the MPI of Biochemistry in Martinsried developed the method ‘EasyPhos’ to identify the activity of these proteins on a global scale.

Using this technology, they revealed that the binding of the hormone insulin to the cell surface affects more than 1,000 proteins. These methods, which rely on mass spectrometry, enable the identification of the regulation of each of these proteins, and simplifies the simultaneous analysis of many samples in parallel. Therefore, EasyPhos is a breakthrough in deciphering the complex processes of healthy and diseased cells.


Ionization of the sample with electrospray prior to the mass spectrometer measurement.

Copyright: MPI of Biochemistry

When insulin binds to the surface of a cell, a vast number of processes are activated. These allow the cell to respond to changing nutrient status, for example to absorb glucose after a meal. To enact these processes many different proteins are needed, which act like small machines within the cell. Their activity modulated by ‘phosphorylation’ – whereby a small phosphate molecule is added to the proteins at specific sites acting like a switch.

Researchers in the laboratory of Matthias Mann developed a method, which they called “EasyPhos” that allows them to identify the phosphorylation of proteins on a large scale within many cell or tissue samples.

Through mass spectrometric analysis, which identifies proteins by their masses, nearly all proteins can be characterized, even the activation of unknown ones. Their study shows that binding of insulin at the surface of mouse liver cells leads to activity changes in the phosphorylation of more than 1,000 of the 12,000 proteins existing in every cell.

“In this study, we used this technology to analyze phosphorylation in a time course, capturing the dynamics of insulin signaling,” says Sean Humphrey, the lead researcher of the study. Using EasyPhos, only small amounts of sample are needed, and the procedure is optimized for the measurement of many different cells or tissue samples.

This opens up the technology to a larger number of biological applications. With every measurement, the researchers obtain a huge amount of data. They therefore work closely with computational scientists at the MPI of Biochemistry who develop specific software to assist with data analysis.

Matthias Mann points out that the analysis of the proteome is of great importance. While genomic researchers analyze the DNA, which is the blueprint of the proteins, proteomics researchers directly observe these proteins at work.

This technology enables the analysis and understanding of the complex and dynamic processes within the cells, revealing important insights into these processes. In the future, EasyPhos will enable the comparison of activation patterns in diseased cells with those of healthy cells or tissues, and will therefore help to uncover the malfunction and causes of complex diseases.
[CM]

Original publication:
S.J. Humphrey, S.B. Azimifar, M. Mann: High-throughput phosphoproteomics reveals in vivo insulin signaling dynamics. Nature Biotechnology, September, 2015
DOI: 10.1038/nbt.3327
www.nature.com/nbt/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nbt.3327.html

Contact:
Prof. Dr. Matthias Mann
Proteomics and Signal Transduction
Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry
Am Klopferspitz 18
82152 Martinsried
Germany
E-Mail: mmann@biochem.mpg.de
http://www.biochem.mpg.de/mann

Anja Konschak
Public Relations
Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry
Am Klopferspitz 18
82152 Martinsried
Germany
Tel. +49 89 8578-2824
E-Mail: pr@biochem.mpg.de
http://www.biochem.mpg.de

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.biochem.mpg.de/en/news - More press releases of the MPI of Biochemistry
http://www.biochem.mpg.de/mann - Website of the Research Department "Proteomics and Signal Transduction" (Matthias Mann)

Anja Konschak | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Single-stranded DNA and RNA origami go live
15.12.2017 | Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard

nachricht New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists
15.12.2017 | Louisiana State 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: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>