New electron microscopy technique limits membrane destruction

Purdue University | April 09, 2019

Membrane proteins play an important role in many biological processes. Studies suggest they’re targeted by more than 50% of all modern medicinal drugs. Unfortunately for researchers, determining their structures has been a longstanding challenge because it’s difficult to track the protein without damaging the cellular membrane using current techniques. Not anymore. Researchers at Purdue University have created an electron microscopy technique termed “cryoAPEX” that accurately tracks membrane proteins in a well-preserved cell. The new method is a hybrid of two commonly used methods in cell biology: high-pressure freezing and chemical fixation.“We took the best features from each technique and played around with conditions until we found a happy medium where you could stain for your protein while maintaining membrane preservation,” said Seema Mattoo, an assistant professor of biological sciences at Purdue. “We were also able to use this information to develop a 3D image of the protein in the context of the cell.”

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The top 3 R&D segments for employment and revenue are those containing companies developing therapies based on small molecule, antibody and therapeutic protein technology.

Spotlight

The top 3 R&D segments for employment and revenue are those containing companies developing therapies based on small molecule, antibody and therapeutic protein technology.

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