US scientists have used magnetic nanoparticles with specific ligands to latch on to and visualise specific proteins in living cells. The approach could be used to identify new, selective ligands that bind proteins, which may help uncover drug–target interactions inside cells, say the researchers. Also, using magnetic nanoparticles means that the distribution, orientation and aggregation of cellular proteins could be controlled, leading to new ways to control the fate of cells.
A deeper understanding of protein function inside cells is essential as scientists try to find new ways to diagnose and treat disease. The first challenge is to locate the proteins involved and find out what they are doing, which is not an easy feat, considering the abundance of different proteins in our cells.
Read the full article in Chemistry World
Link to journal article
Magnetic nanoparticles for direct protein sorting inside live cells
Yue Pan , Marcus J. C. Long , Hsin-Chieh Lin , Lizbeth Hedstrom and Bing Xu
Chem. Sci., 2012, Advance Article, DOI: 10.1039/C2SC20519J