A new method for exploring the unspoilt parts of cell membranes will help to cure cancer

A group of scientists from Oxford University and Imperial College London announced that they have developed the technique to explore untouched parts of cell membranes will help to cure cancer, and cardiovascular disease. We are talking about that when creating the medicines of the new generation should take into account the findings of the study.

Co-author of scientific work Lady Robinson explained: the role of membranes in the body is to protect cells and their organelles, including mitochondria, which supply energy. Technically speaking, the membrane is studded with proteins – a kind of “biomachine” that admit and release the cargo molecule. The study of these processes in the usual conditions for the organism it is important to clarify the mechanisms of diseases and the identification of goals that should be directed to develop a drug. Modern methods of study include the removal of proteins with membranes, changing, thus, their structure and function. However, the new technique consists in the vibrations of the samples at ultrasonic frequencies to such an extent until the cell begins to collapse. After that, the electronic field current is supplied, collecting the protein, molecular-scale biomachines from membranes directly in the mass spectrometer, which is a tool for the registration of chemical “signatures” of the cells on the basis of its mass.

It turned out that “biomachine” of proteins not only safely tolerated the procedure, but even continued to communicate among themselves, to move to the final location and be transported into the cell a molecular cargo.

“Thanks to the development of this method will be possible to use mass spectrometry to qualitatively different level, when it will made many discoveries first seem fantastic,” shared achievements of British scientists.