Researchers develop new method for tracking cell signaling

Jul 10, 2013

Researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, together with collaborators in Germany, have developed a new method for identifying the cell of origin of intracellular and secreted proteins within multicellular environments.

The technique, named cell type specific labeling using amino acid precursors (CTAP), exploits the inability of vertebrate cells to synthesize normally required for growth and homeostasis. The research was published online in the journal Nature Methods on June 30, 2013.

This technological advance will provide investigators with a new tool for comprehensive mapping of cell-cell communication, which is important in all aspects of , maintenance, and response to therapy. For example, this method could be used to study cell signaling events between normal and in order to better understand the by which surrounding normal cells alter tumor growth and response to treatment.

Gauthier, Miller and co-workers engineered cells to express amino acid biosynthesis enzymes, which enabled cells to grow on their own supply of amino acids produced from supplemented precursors.

The team went on to show that supplementing heavy stable isotope-labeled forms of these precursors led to incorporation of heavy amino acids into proteins produced in enzyme expressing cells. Using quantitative to search for proteins that contained these stable isotope labels, researchers were able to determine the cell of origin of both intracellular and secreted proteins identified in multicellular culture.

By providing a means to link proteins directly to specific cell types, the authors believe that this new method will be useful in studies of cell-cell communication and biomarker discovery.

Explore further: Report on viruses looks beyond disease

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New technique for IDing proteins secreted by cells developed

Sep 25, 2012

(Phys.org)—Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new technique to identify the proteins secreted by a cell. The new approach should help researchers collect precise data on cell biology, which ...

Recommended for you

Brand new technology detects probiotic organisms in food

8 hours ago

In the food industr, ity is very important to ensure the quality and safety of products consumed by the population to improve their properties and reduce foodborne illness. Therefore, a team of Mexican researchers ...

Protein evolution follows a modular principle

8 hours ago

Proteins impart shape and stability to cells, drive metabolic processes and transmit signals. To perform these manifold tasks, they fold into complex three-dimensional shapes. Scientists at the Max Planck ...

Report on viruses looks beyond disease

Jul 22, 2014

In contrast to their negative reputation as disease causing agents, some viruses can perform crucial biological and evolutionary functions that help to shape the world we live in today, according to a new report by the American ...

User comments : 0