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Developing New Technologies to Imaging the Immune Cell Microenvironment

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To develop drugs that target specific cell surface proteins, it is helpful to understand other proteins in its vicinity. The pathology of many diseases can be understood by elucidating local biomolecular networks or microenvironments. To this end, the enzymatic proximity labeling platform is widely used to map a wider range of spatial relationships in subcellular structures. However, there has long been a search for techniques that can map the microenvironment more precisely.


Geri et al describe a microenvironmental profiling platform that uses photocatalytic carbon ene generation to selectively identify protein interactions on cell membranes, a method called MicroMap (μMap). A light-triggered labeling technique that improves the spatial resolution of this type of mapping. Specifically, they relied on a photocatalyst with a very short range of energy transfer to activate a carbine-based tag that could only diffuse a small distance in water before the reaction.


Using photocatalytic-antibody conjugates to spatially localize carbene generation, they demonstrated selective labeling of antibody-bound targets and their microenvironment protein neighbors.


They used this technique to identify the constituent proteins of the programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) microenvironment in living lymphocytes and selectively label them in immune synaptic junctions. Therefore, it its a valuable system in cancer immunotherapy.


About author


Creative Biostructure, founded in 2005, is specialized in providing cost-effective contract services to both academia and biotech/pharmaceutical industries in the field of structural biology and membrane protein technologies.


The company has developed all-in-one, gene-to-structure pipelines for the structure determination of macromolecules. With a team of experienced professionals, Creative Biostructure is able to solve the structure of many challenging proteins including GPCRsion channels, transporters, enzymes and viral targets. The company also provides a comprehensive list of products and other related services to facilitate research in structural biology.


Creative Biostructure has also built up a unique and comprehensive Membrane Protein Screening Platform. Aiming at elucidating the fundamentals of membrane protein systems, the company provides gene-to-structure services on the purification, crystallization, structure determination and analysis of various membrane proteins.

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