In a nutshell:
- Fully automated single molecule measurements allow scientists to probe complex biological networks in living cells.
- Technique holds promise for understanding of disease and drug discovery.
A new approach for studying the behaviour of proteins in living cells has been developed by an interdisciplinary team of biologists and physicists in the Cell Biology and Biophysics Unit, the Ellenberg group and the Advanced Light Microscopy Facility at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg.
Described in a new study, published today in Nature Biotechnology, the approach allows scientists for the first time to follow the protein networks that drive a biological process in real time.
Which proteins interact with each other and where they meet within cells is of huge interest to scientists because it reveals the state and activity of the molecular machinery that drives the most fundamental functions of life such as the ability of cells to divide. The new technique will also be useful for scientists to investigate the mechanisms of disease and for pharmaceutical companies to explore new drug targets.