a state of the art facility for the study of protein trafficking in vivo

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Institute of Membrane & Systems Biology


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Technical Summary

Determining protein localisation and dynamics is important for answering many questions in biology. To understand how proteins function and are regulated in vivo, we need approaches by which we can determine where proteins go and when, as well as when and where two proteins interact. New and emerging technologies will go a long way towards helping us answer these questions. The first is the development of photo-activatable GFP (PA-GFP). By tagging proteins with PA-GFP, and then using photo-activation to observe a subset of fluorescently labelled molecules on a low fluorescent background, their fate can be accurately determined. The second is the recent developments in the GFP and RFP fluorophores that have improved behaviour in FRET, enabling us to use this approach to investigate protein-protein interactions in vivo. Furthermore, microscopy is now being developed as a tool for high throughput screening approaches, to investigate the effects of mutations, or for screening large numbers of small molecules for ones that have useful effects in cell biology. The major goal of this application is to upgrade our existing bio-imaging facility into a state-of-the-art facility that can exploit these new technologies, with the focus of studying protein trafficking in vivo.


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Boyne JR (2006) Nucleolar trafficking is essential for nuclear export of intronless herpesvirus mRNA. in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

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Mankouri J (2010) Enhanced hepatitis C virus genome replication and lipid accumulation mediated by inhibition of AMP-activated protein kinase. in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Description The aim of this project was to improve our ability to use light microscopy to image cells, and within cells. The funding allowed us to buy additional equipment to upgrade our existing confocal microscopes, so that we could improve our imaging. These microscopes are used by over 20 different research groups within the Faculty of Biological Sciences at the University, and have supported a wide range of research, from imaging organelles and how they move in living plants, to imaging receptors in mammalian cells.
Exploitation Route The research can be used by those interested in developing treatments for infections and disease (e.g. pharma companies, clinicians). Imaging is central to understanding the healthy human organism, plants and animals. Without knowledge of how things work, it is very difficult to understand what goes wrong in disease states. The new microscopes are essential for using imaging to understand cellular processes, and in detecting what goes wrong in diseases from virus infections, to inherited mutant
Sectors Healthcare,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology

URL http://www.fbs.leeds.ac.uk/facilities/bioimaging/
Description This funding provided an upgrade to our bio-imaging facility which is used by over 40 different research groups across biological sciences and medicine. It has had impact in a broad range of healthcare and biological sciences.
First Year Of Impact 2007
Sector Healthcare,Other
Impact Types Economic