New sugar protein tool - for real

Scientists have devised a new way to make sugar-linked proteins, an important step towards understanding a key type of protein modification and refining drug therapies that utilize the so-called glycoproteins -- as well as the subject of two high-profile papers that were recently retracted. Image: Wikimedia commons, S. Jähnichen"It's a pretty important thing that they've done," said synthetic biologist linkurl:Jason Chin;http://www2.mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk/group-leaders/a-to-g/j-chin of the Med

Jef Akst
Jef Akst

Jef (an unusual nickname for Jennifer) got her master’s degree from Indiana University in April 2009 studying the mating behavior of seahorses. After four years of diving off the Gulf...

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Feb 27, 2010
Scientists have devised a new way to make sugar-linked proteins, an important step towards understanding a key type of protein modification and refining drug therapies that utilize the so-called glycoproteins -- as well as the subject of two high-profile papers that were recently retracted.
Image: Wikimedia commons,
S. Jähnichen
"It's a pretty important thing that they've done," said synthetic biologist linkurl:Jason Chin;http://www2.mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk/group-leaders/a-to-g/j-chin of the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK. Plus, after the previous controversy-ridden setback, the new findings might well be a welcome step forward for the field. "Any method where you install that first sugar [onto a protein] would be a big advance," Chin said. The study, linkurl:published online today (February 28) in Nature Chemical Biology,;http://www.nature.com/nchembio/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nchembio.314.html describes the addition of sugars to proteins, a process known as glycosylation. Glycosylation is one of the most common posttranslational modifications in eukaryotes, known to affect protein...
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