Using DESY's X-ray lightsource PETRA III, an interdisciplinary research team led by the University of Göttingen and Hannover Medical School (MHH) has detected significant changes in the heart muscle tissue of people who died from Covid-19. Damage to lung tissue has been the research focus i ... more
Clever biomolecular labelling enables identification of immune cells
New strategy for labelling peptides
Biomolecules regulate the biological functions inside every living cell. If scientists can understand the molecular mechanisms of such functions, then it is possible to detect severe dysfunction which can lead to illness. At a molecular level, this can be achieved with fluorescent markers that are specifically incorporated into the respective biomolecules. In the past, this has been achieved by incorporating a marker in the biomolecule by completely rebuilding it from the beginning, necessitating a large number of steps. Unfortunately, this approach not only takes a lot of time and resources, but also produces unwanted waste products. Researchers at the Universities of Göttingen and Edinburgh have now been able to show that a non-toxic complex of the common metal manganese makes it possible to conveniently label a class of special biomolecules known as peptides right at the last minute of their synthesis. This means the mechanism of action of these labelled peptides can be investigated efficiently.
The research group developed the selective labelling of peptides and natural biological products at a late point in the series of steps necessary for synthesis by activating carbon-hydrogen bonds in tryptophan residues. This experimentally simple strategy makes it possible to efficiently access novel fluorescent peptides that are highly sensitive to their biological environment. This enabled the team to create a highly sensitive “rotor” with the ability to show changes in the composition of membranes of immune cells. Its fluorescence is dependent on the viscosity of the cell membrane. The researchers observed radiant fluorescence in the presence of cholesterol in the cell membrane. In this way, the rotor can be used to screen certain molecules in cells that are important for the adaptive immune system to fight infections and cancer.
"The project demonstrates the power of combining chemical, biological and medical research, which allows the direct observation of cell-specific events," says project leader Professor Lutz Ackermann from Göttingen University. "Furthermore, the successful collaboration ensures our discoveries to have an immediate impact not only in the field of chemistry, but also in the biomedical sciences. Sharing ideas and expertise between the teams enabled a joint approach to real-life problems."
Living cells are the basic building blocks of all organisms. We, as humans, are essentially a collection of trillions of living cells: and all these cells emerge from a single fertilized egg. This means that “mitosis” (or cell division) is one of the most fundamental and important processes ... more
Researchers at the DZNE and the University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) have identified molecules in the blood that can indicate impending dementia. Their findings, which are presented in the scientific journal “EMBO Molecular Medicine”, are based on human studies and laboratory experimen ... more
Developing drugs that target these proteins could be one way of slowing the ageing process, according to the largest genetic study of ageing. As we age, our bodies begin to decline after we reach adulthood, which results in age-related diseases and death. This latest research investigates w ... more
An international consortium succeeded in tracking the genesis and spread of new reassortants of avian influenza viruses by the use of mathematical analyses. This large-scale international study has now been published in the scientific journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sci ... more
Living cells can react to disturbances with a changed metabolism, but direct observation of trafficking metabolites in live cells is difficult. An international team of scientists has now developed a class of remarkably small fluorophores called SCOTfluors. The dyes emit light in the visibl ... more
- 1Smartphone-powered microchip for at-home medical diagnostic testing developed
- 2Measuring the ‘wettability’ of graphene and other 2D materials
- 3analytica 2022: Analytics that benefit consumer and environmental protection
- 4New technique shows in detail where drug molecules hit their targets in the body
- 5Why are neuron axons long and spindly?
- 6Researchers demonstrate label-free super-resolution microscopy
- 7Bruker and TOFWERK Form Strategic Partnership
- 8A sharper image for proteins
- 9Nanotechnology enables visualization of RNA structures at near-atomic resolution
- 10Seeing more deeply into nanomaterials