Washington: A team of scientists at the University of Warwick have produced a new method of microscopy to help view proteins under human cells. These scientists have procured a tagging device named FerriTag, which uses a protein shell used to contain iron cells in human bodies.
This device uses electron microscopy to allow proteins to be viewed at a precise scale. This device is useful in enabling the cell to tag itself without causing any unnecessary harm by placing it from outside the cell.
The team experimented on clathrin-coated pits and narrowed down the location of the protein in the pit and on the inside of the cell`s surface. Dr Stephen Royle, Associate Professor and Senior Cancer Research UK Fellow at Warwick Medical School said: “Proteins do almost all of the jobs in cells that scientists want to study. We can learn a lot about how proteins work by simply watching them under the microscope. But we need to know their precise location. Tagging is a widely used phenomenon in science. However they have established drawbacks; some are not precise enough, or they don`t work on single proteins.
To overcome this Dr Royle`s lab created a new genetically encoded tag and fused it with a fluorescent protein.Dr Royale added, “When Ferritin is fused to a protein, we end up with a mush. So, we altered Ferritin so that it could be attached to the protein of interest by using a drug. This meant that we could put the FerriTag onto the protein we want to image in a few seconds.”This study appears in the journal – Nature Communications.