Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New technique permits development of enzyme tool kit

11.05.2010
An Arizona State University graduate student, Jinglin Fu, in collaboration with Biodesign Institute researchers Neal Woodbury and Stephen Albert Johnston, has pioneered a technique that improves on scientists’ ability to harness and modulate enzyme activity.

The new approach, reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (published online on Apr. 21st, 2010) , could have wide applicability for designing a range of industrial catalysts, health care diagnostics and therapies centered on understanding the control of enzymatic activity.

Enzymes, key catalysts that speed up the reactions inside every cell, are critical for life. As Neal Woodbury, chief scientist the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University notes, “all the processes that happen inside of your body, essentially without exception, are run by enzymes.” Enzymes are also a prized tool in biomedical research, aiding the development of diagnostic tests and therapeutics for a range of human diseases.

But studying the role of enzymes can be tricky. One approach has been to use a specialized platform known as a microarray—where glass slides are deposited with 10,000 protein fragments, called peptides, that are screened for their ability to react with specific enzymes and alter their activity. “On the microarray, you can screen thousands of molecules at the same time,” Fu says, allowing the simultaneous monitoring of the peptide-enzyme binding and the change in enzyme activity at each spot on the array.

But there is a problem with this approach, that has so far hampered enzyme research. “When you try to monitor the chemical reaction that the enzyme catalyzes in the microarray, the molecule generated by the enzyme reaction quickly diffuses away, causing serious cross-contamination between spots on the array,” Fu explains. To solve this problem, Fu applied polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)—a thick, viscous and clear polymer— to the microarray slide to limit the diffusion of molecules and hold the reactions in place, preventing contamination.

In the current study, Fu’s team was able to observe the effects that peptides had on the activity of three broad classes of enzymes. In some cases, peptides blocked the activity of an enzyme but in others, peptides acted to alter the whole structure of the enzyme—often in unanticipated ways—allowing it to function differently.

“What Jinglin has invented,” Woodbury stresses, “is a way of finding a peptide that will allow us to both put an enzyme in a particular place and modulate its activity. It allows us to begin to group different enzymes according to function.” In addition to possible biomedical applications, the enzyme tool kit made possible through the group’s research could be applied to modulating enzymes for a variety of industrial purposes, for new detergents or pharmaceuticals. Further, the strategy is not limited to peptides. It can theoretically be applied to virtually any small molecule suitable for an array, making the technique extremely versatile.

Written by Richard Harth
Biodesign Institute Science Writer
richard.harth@asu.edu

Richard Harth | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.asu.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Antimicrobial substances identified in Komodo dragon blood
23.02.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht New Mechanisms of Gene Inactivation may prevent Aging and Cancer
23.02.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

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”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

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...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

From rocks in Colorado, evidence of a 'chaotic solar system'

23.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

'Quartz' crystals at the Earth's core power its magnetic field

23.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Antimicrobial substances identified in Komodo dragon blood

23.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>