Media highlights in the March 1 issue of Biophysical Journal

February 25, 2008

The reductionist goal of cell biology is to explain cellular activities in physical-chemical terms. To do this, one needs to quantify molecular concentrations and aggregation states in living cells as they execute and regulate various complex processes. For a complex cellular activity like migration, which is characterized by highly localized, transient component processes, the need is for high resolution spatial maps is essential. The currently available techniques only measure protein concentration and aggregation either for the cell as a whole or for limited number of points at a relatively few time points, thus blurring both spatial and temporal information. The method described by Digman, et al. uses fluorescence fluctuations to map molecular interactions at each pixel of an image. The novelty of this technique, termed the N and B analysis, is that quantitative information about the number of molecules and their aggregation states are mapped pixel by pixel. This method is fast and can be applied to molecular signaling events to follow the aggregation states of receptors and downstream components as a function of time. Another advantage is that immobile or slowly moving features, like cell edges and borders as well as contributions from photobleaching are separated so that only the species that fluctuate more rapidly are analyzed. This technique is can be used with laser scanning microscopes and is a powerful, new tool for anyone interested in live cell imaging.
-end-
Authors:
Michelle Digman, University of California
Rooshin Dalal, University of Virginia
Alan Horwitz, University of Virginia
Enrico Gratton, University of California, Irvine

An abstract for this article can be found at http://www.biophysj.org/. Please contact the authors before publishing a story based on their work. In addition, please refer to the Biophysical Journal in any articles you write. Contact Ellen Weiss at eweiss@biophysics.org for more information or assistance.

Keywords: 2-photon microscopy, Fluorescence microscopy, Protein aggregation, focal adhesions

Biophysical Society

Related Aggregation Articles from Brightsurf:

Amphiphilic AIE-active sensor: Breaking the bottleneck of AIE bioimaging
Currently, aggregation induced emission luminogens (AIEgens) materials reveal excellent performance in bioimaging.

Templating S100A9 amyloids on Aβ fibrillar surfaces revealed
A research team has provided the mechanistic insight into protein co-aggregation in Alzheimer's disease.

Insight into protein misfolding could open up new approaches to treat Parkinson's disease
Researchers have uncovered a link between the structure of the protein alpha-synuclein and its likelihood to misfold and aggregate.

Computational techniques explore 'the dark side of amyloid aggregation in the brain'
As physicians and families know too well, though Alzheimer's disease has been intensely studied for decades, too much is still not known about molecular processes in the brain that cause it.

Untangling untidy folds to understand diseases
Copper ions could play a key role when peptide folding goes wrong and leads to harmful aggregates.

The strategy of cells to deal with the accumulation of misfolded proteins is identified
In the paper, published in the journal Cell Reports, the Schizosaccharomyces pombe yeast model has been used to investigate the protein quality control process.

New mathematical model for amyloid formation
Scientists report on a mathematical model for the formation of amyloid fibrils.

How planets may form after dust sticks together
Scientists may have figured out how dust particles can stick together to form planets, according to a Rutgers co-authored study that may also help to improve industrial processes.

Protein aggregation: Protein assemblies relevant not only for neurodegenerative disease
Amyloid fibrils play a crucial role in neurodegenerative illnesses. Scientists from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) and Forschungszentrum Jülich have now been able to use cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) to decode the spatial structure of the fibrils that are formed from PI3K SH3 domains - an important model system for research.

Research shows human cells assembling into fractal-like clusters
In a finding that could shed light on tissue formation, wound healing and cancer spread, a new study shows that human cells follow the same rules as non-living particles to form fractal-like branching structures.

Read More: Aggregation News and Aggregation Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.