Scientists develop first fully automated pipeline for multiprotein complex production

May 4, 2009

Most cellular processes are carried out by molecular machines that consist of many interacting proteins. These protein complexes lie at the heart of life science research, but they are notoriously hard to study. Their abundance is often too low to extract them directly from cells and generating them with recombinant methods has been a daunting task.

A new technology to produce multiprotein complexes, developed by researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Grenoble, France, and the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) in Villigen, Switzerland, now makes the biologist's life easier.

In a paper published in the current issue of researchers of the groups of Imre Berger at EMBL and Michel Steinmetz at the PSI describe ACEMBL, the first fully automated for the production of multiprotein complexes. Requiring much less effort and materials, the new pipeline will speed up structural studies of protein complexes and will allow to decipher as yet elusive molecular mechanisms of health and disease.

ACEMBL can produce complexes consisting of different types of components, including protein, RNA and other biomolecules. Currently designed to express proteins in the standard system Escherichium coli, the automated pipeline will in future be adapted for complex production in eukaryotic cells. This will allow the study of even larger, more complicated complexes of human origin, including many promising drug targets. The system has already attracted commercial interest.

Source: European Molecular Biology Laboratory (news : web)

Explore further: Cracking a virus protection shield

Related Stories

Cracking a virus protection shield

June 16, 2006

Ebola, measles and rabies are serious threats to public health in developing countries. Despite different symptoms all of the diseases are caused by the same class of viruses that unlike most other living beings carry their ...

Mechanism of microRNAs deciphered

May 16, 2007

Over 30% of our genes are under the control of small molecules called microRNAs. They prevent specific genes from being turned into protein and regulate many crucial processes like cell division and development, but how they ...

Getting wise to the influenza virus' tricks

May 4, 2008

Influenza is currently a grave concern for governments and health organisations around the world. The worry is the potential for highly virulent bird flu strains, such as H5N1, to develop the ability to infect humans easily. ...

Recommended for you

Yarn from slaughterhouse waste

July 29, 2015

ETH researchers have developed a yarn from ordinary gelatine that has good qualities similar to those of merino wool fibers. Now they are working on making the yarn even more water resistant.

Findings illuminate animal evolution in protein function

July 27, 2015

Virginia Commonwealth University and University of Richmond researchers recently teamed up to explore the inner workings of cells and shed light on the 400–600 million years of evolution between humans and early animals ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Scire
1 / 5 (1) May 07, 2009
Implications for nanotechnology?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.