New Technology for Measuring Functional Proteins Could Advance Drug Discovery Research |
STONY BROOK, NY, June 29, 2022 – A new biomedical research tool allowing scientists to measure hundreds of functional proteins in a single cell could offer new insights into cellular machinery. Directed by Jun Wang, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Stony Brook University, this microchip test – called single-cell cyclic multiplex in situ labeling technology (CycMIST) – can help advance fields such as molecular diagnostics and discovery. of drugs. Details of the microchip cycling assay method are published in Nature Communication.
While new technologies of single-cell omics (i.e. not amplifiable like DNAs. Thus, analysis of proteins in single cells has not reached large-scale experimentation. Since proteins represent cellular functions and biomarkers for cell types and disease diagnosis, further analysis on a single cell is needed.
“The CycMIST assay allows for comprehensive assessment of cellular functions and physiological status by examining 100 times more protein types than conventional immunofluorescence staining, which is a distinctive feature that cannot be achieved by any other similar technology” , says Liwei Yang, lead author of the study and a postdoctoral fellow on the Wang and Multiplex Biotechnology Laboratory.
Wang, who is affiliated with the Renaissance School of Medicine and the Stony Brook Cancer Center, and his colleagues demonstrated CycMIST by detecting 182 proteins that include surface markers, neuronal function proteins, neurodegeneration markers, signaling pathway and transcription factors. They used a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) to validate the technology and method.
By analyzing the 182 proteins with CycMIST, they were able to perform functional protein analysis that revealed deep brain cell heterogeneity, distinguished markers of AD, and identified mechanisms of AD pathogenesis.
With this detailed way of disentangling proteins in the AD model, the team suggests that such analysis of functional proteins could hold promise for new drug targets for AD, for which there is as yet no effective treatment. And they provide a landscape of potential drug targets at the cellular level from CycMIST protein analysis.
The authors believe that CycMIST could also have enormous commercialization potential.
They say that before this study model with CycMIST, researchers could only measure and know a spike in protein types in a cell. But this new approach allows scientists to identify and know the actions of every aspect of a cell, and so they can potentially identify whether a cell is in a diseased state or not – the first step in a possible way to diagnose a disease by analyzing a single protein cell. And compared to standard approaches like flow cytometry, their approach with CycMIST can analyze 10 times the amount of protein and at the single-cell level.
The researchers also suggest that the microchip cycling assay is portable, inexpensive, and could be retrofitted to any existing fluorescence microscope, which are additional reasons for its commercialization if it proves effective with experimentation. next.
Much of the research for this study was supported by the National Institute of Aging of the National Institutes of Health (grant # R21AG072076), other NIH grants, and a supporting grant from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.