The technique entails preparing samples in a new way and is a development of applied mass spectrometry. Presented in the latest issue of renowned journal Nature Methods, the technique will enable medical researchers to study the mechanisms behind diseases in more detail and, with luck, find new ways of treating them.
"When we developed the method, we were analysing cerebrospinal fluid from healthy subjects and could see that many proteins had sugar structures previously unknown to us," says Jonas Nilsson, a researcher at the Department of Clinical Chemistry and Transfusion Medicine at the Sahlgrenska Academy. "We know that some of these proteins play a role in diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, and now it's possible to study whether faults in these sugar structures are responsible for the development of the disease."
There are more than 20,000 proteins in the human body. These proteins ensure that the instructions from the genes are carried out. Around half of them have sugar structures on their surface consisting of chains of sugar molecules. These sugar structures mean that the protein can be recognised by other proteins. Some of these structures can act as a locking mechanism when proteins bind to cells and other proteins. Sugar structures are also found on the surface of cells, where they determine, among other things, which blood group we belong to.
"Sugar structures often play an important role in how a cell or protein functions and how it affects different systems in the body," says Nilsson. "Being able to study them in more detail is a major step forward for biomedical research."
The chains of sugars in these structures are attached to the proteins at only one end. The new technique entails attaching a plastic bead to the loose end of these chains and separating the sugared proteins from those that do not have sugar structures. The proteins are then chopped into pieces and the sugar chain is released from the plastic bead, leaving the sugar chain attached to a chunk of protein known as a peptide. The researchers can then study the sugar structure on the peptide and see which protein the peptide belonged to and where on the protein it sat.MASS SPECTROMETRY
Authors: Jonas Nilsson, Ulla Rüetschi, Adnan Halim, Camilla Hesse, Elisabet Carlsohn, Gunnar Brinkmalm and Göran Larson
A novel socio-ecological approach helps identifying suitable wolf habitats
17.02.2017 | Universität Zürich
New, ultra-flexible probes form reliable, scar-free integration with the brain
16.02.2017 | University of Texas at Austin
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering
17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering
17.02.2017 | Health and Medicine