Navigation Links
Discovering cell surface proteins' behavior
Date:2/12/2013

A Simon Fraser University chemist is the lead author on a new paper that advances scientific understanding of the structure and function of glycoproteins, in particular the number and positioning of sugars on them. PLOS ONE, an international, peer-reviewed, open-access, online, scientific research journal, has just published the paper, N-glycoproteome of E14.Tg2a Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells.

Glycoproteins are membrane proteins and are often involved in human diseases. They facilitate communication between cells, and interactions with pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria, and communication with external environments.

SFU chemist Bingyun Sun and her colleagues have discovered how nature can vary the amount of a dominant sugar type (N-Glycan) on membrane proteins on a cell surface. The variation helps stabilize these proteins and facilitate their functioning. The researchers verified their observation of a correlation between the number of sugars on a glycoprotein and its function in five animal species worms, flies, fish, mice and humans. This led to their realization that the correlation has been conserved through evolution.

To obtain the number of N-Glycans on proteins, the researchers used proteomics a combination of mass spectrometry (MS) and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). In less than an hour, high-throughput technique identifies the exact place where N-Glycans attach on hundreds of glycoproteins.

The scientists analyzed cell surface glycoproteins in one type of mouse embryonic stem cells by genetically shutting down the Hypoxanthine Phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT) gene in the cells. As an aside, HPRT deficiency causes Lesch-Nyhan syndrome in humans, a metabolic disorder characterized by mental retardation and self-mutilation.

Sun says this deeper understanding of the correlation between sugars' positioning on glycoproteins and the proteins' functions will benefit medical researchers and the pharmaceutical industry. "As membrane proteins, glycoproteins are biologically important," explains Sun, who is fluent in Mandarin and English, and is originally from Mailand China.

"They mediate cells' communication to their environment, thus governing a plethora of cellular processes and functions, including growth, development, immunity and aging. "Understanding how membrane proteins adapt to better protect themselves will help us design better, less toxic drugs to treat diseases."

Backgrounder: Understanding surface cell proteins

Mass spectrometry (MS) is an analytical technique that measures the mass-to-charge ratio of charged particles.[1] It is used for determining masses of particles, for establishing the elemental composition of a sample or molecule, and for elucidating the chemical structures of molecules, such as peptides and other chemical compounds.

High-performance liquid chromatography (sometimes referred to as high-pressure liquid chromatography), HPLC, is a chromatographic technique used to separate a mixture of compounds in analytical chemistry and biochemistry with the purpose of identifying, quantifying or purifying the individual components of the mixture. HPLC is considered to be the most frequently used instrumental technique in analytical chemistry.

HPLC has many uses including medical (e.g. detecting vitamin D levels in blood serum), legal (e.g. detecting performance enhancement drugs in urine), research (e.g. separating the components of a complex biological sample, or of similar synthetic chemicals from each other), and manufacturing (e.g. during the production process of pharmaceutical and biological products).
'/>"/>

Contact: Carol Thorbes
cthorbes@sfu.ca
778-782-3035
Simon Fraser University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. KIT: Processes at the surface of catalysts
2. NASA satellite measurements imply Texas wind farm impact on surface temperature
3. Secret soil cracks linger, despite surface sealing
4. Proteomic analysis of immunocamouflaged surfaces
5. The most contaminated surfaces in hotel rooms
6. Wrinkled surfaces could have widespread applications
7. Sea surface temperatures reach record highs on Northeast continental shelf
8. Professor publishes on first-ever imaging of cells growing on spherical surfaces
9. 3dMD Transitions Anatomical Research from 3D-Static to 4D-Movement Surface Imaging
10. Ancient microbes found living beneath the icy surface of Antarctic lake
11. Surface analysis techniques for advanced materials enhance Mazovias research potential
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/20/2016)... May 20, 2016  VoiceIt is excited to ... VoicePass. By working together, VoiceIt and ... VoiceIt and VoicePass take slightly different approaches to ... both security and usability. ... this new partnership. "This marketing and ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... 3, 2016  Neurotechnology, a provider of high-precision ... Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) , a complete ... MegaMatcher ABIS can process multiple complex biometric transactions ... of fingerprint, face or iris biometrics. It leverages ... and MegaMatcher Accelerator , which have been ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the ...  report to their offering.  , ,     (Logo: ... forecast the global multimodal biometrics market to grow ... 2016-2020.  Multimodal biometrics is being implemented ... healthcare, BFSI, transportation, automotive, and government for controlling ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... 2016  Liquid Biotech USA ... a Sponsored Research Agreement with The University of ... from cancer patients.  The funding will be used ... with clinical outcomes in cancer patients undergoing a ... be employed to support the design of a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in Ancona combed medical ... mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of a new article on the Surviving Mesothelioma ... in the blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients that can help point ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... A person commits a crime, and the detective ... the criminal down. An outbreak of foodborne illness ... (FDA) uses DNA evidence to track down the bacteria that ... It,s not. The FDA has increasingly used a complex, cutting-edge ... illnesses. Put as simply as possible, whole genome sequencing is ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016   EpiBiome , a precision ... million in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). ... and to advance its drug development efforts, as well ... "SVB has been an incredible strategic partner ... a traditional bank would provide," said Dr. Aeron ...
Breaking Biology Technology: