PNAS Cover (March 28, 2018) from the Gonen Lab is a computer-generated atomic model of a protein scaffolding system.
Small proteins, such as those found throughout a cell, are not amenable to detailed analysis by cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM).
Yuxi Liu et al. designed a self-assembling protein scaffolding system that enables the analysis of small proteins by cryo-EM.
Using the scaffolding system, the authors visualized the structure of a small protein in near-atomic detail,
potentially enabling the visualization of cellular proteins by cryo-EM.
See the article by Liu et al. on pages 3362–3367. Image courtesy of Shane Gonen
An advance by UCLA neuroscientists in the Bal Khakh laboratory
could lead to a better understanding of astrocytes, star-shaped brain cells that are believed to play a
key role in neurological disorders like Lou Gehrig’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s diseases.
As reported in Neuron, the new method enables researchers to peer deep inside a mouse’s brain and watch astrocytes’ influence over the communication between nerve cells in real time. The test relies on fluorescence resonance energy-transfer microscopy, or FRET microscopy, a technique that uses light to measure the tiniest of distances between molecules.
Lead author J. Christopher Octeau describes the new method in the video below:
An Imaging-Based Neuron-Astrocyte Proximity Assay
The episode was part of a series on “Behind the Mystery of Rare and Genetic Diseases” and Dr. Cannon was interviewed about periodic paralysis.
Watch it on Youtube or by clicking on the image above.