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Success in Measuring Protein Interaction at the Molecular Level​
View : 6005 Date : 2013-12-11 Writer : ed_news

Professor Tae Young Yoon
- Live observation of two protein interaction in molecular level successful
- The limit in measurement and time resolution of immunoprecipitation technique improved by a hundred thousand fold

KAIST Department of Physics Professor Tae Young Yoon’s research team has successfully observed the interaction of two proteins live on molecular level and the findings were published in the October edition of Nature Protocols.

Professor Yoon’s research team developed a fluorescent microscope that can observe a single molecule. The team grafted the immunoprecipitation technique, traditionally used in protein interaction analysis, to the microscope to develop a “live molecular level immunoprecipitation technique”. The team successfully and accurately measured the reaction between two proteins by repeated momentary interactions in the unit of tens of milliseconds.

The existing immunoprecipitation technique required at least one day to detect interaction between two proteins. There were limitations in detecting momentary or weak interactions. Also, quantitative analysis of the results was difficult since the image was measured by protein-band strength. The technique could not be used for live observation.

The team aimed to drastically improve the existing technique and to develop accurate method of measurement on molecular level. The newly developed technology can enable observation of protein interaction within one hour. Also, the interaction can be measured live, thus the protein interaction phenomenon can be measured in depth.

Moreover, every programme used in the experiment was developed and distributed by the research team so source energy is secured and created the foundation for global infra.

Professor Tae Young Yoon said, “The newly developed technology does not require additional protein expression or purification. Hence, a very small sample of protein is enough to accurately analyse protein interaction on a kinetic level.” He continued, “Even cancerous protein from the tissue of a cancer patient can be analysed. Thus a platform for customised anti-cancer medicine in the future has been prepared, as well.”

Figure 1. Mimetic diagram comparing the existing immunoprecipitation technique and the newly developed live molecular level immunoprecipitation technique 

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