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Nanomaterials 2019, 9(4), 585; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9040585

Magnetic Tracking of Protein Synthesis in Microfluidic Environments—Challenges and Perspectives

1
Department of Biochemistry and Physiology of Plants, Faculty of Biology, Bielefeld University, D-33615 Bielefeld, Germany
2
Center for Spinelectronic Materials and Devices, Faculty of Physics, Bielefeld University, D-33615 Bielefeld, Germany
3
Experimental Biophysics and Applied Nanoscience, Institute of Nanoscience BINAS, Faculty of Physics, Bielefeld University, D-33615 Bielefeld, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 February 2019 / Revised: 30 March 2019 / Accepted: 5 April 2019 / Published: 9 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Nanomagnetics and Magneto-Optical Nanomaterials)
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Abstract

A novel technique to study protein synthesis is proposed that uses magnetic nanoparticles in combination with microfluidic devices to achieve new insights into translational regulation. Cellular protein synthesis is an energy-demanding process which is tightly controlled and is dependent on environmental and developmental requirements. Processivity and regulation of protein synthesis as part of the posttranslational nano-machinery has now moved back into the focus of cell biology, since it became apparent that multiple mechanisms are in place for fine-tuning of translation and conditional selection of transcripts. Recent methodological developments, such as ribosome foot printing, propel current research. Here we propose a strategy to open up a new field of labelling, separation, and analysis of specific polysomes using superparamagnetic particles following pharmacological arrest of translation during cell lysis and subsequent analysis. Translation occurs in polysomes, which are assemblies of specific transcripts, associated ribosomes, nascent polypeptides, and other factors. This supramolecular structure allows for unique approaches to selection of polysomes by targeting the specific transcript, ribosomes, or nascent polypeptides. Once labeled with functionalized superparamagnetic particles, such assemblies can be separated in microfluidic devices or magnetic ratchets and quantified. Insights into the dynamics of translation is obtained through quantifying large numbers of ribosomes along different locations of the polysome. Thus, an entire new concept for in vitro, ex vivo, and eventually single cell analysis will be realized and will allow for magnetic tracking of protein synthesis. View Full-Text
Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana; magnetic field; nanobead; polysome; protein synthesis; ribosome; superparamagnetic particle; translation Arabidopsis thaliana; magnetic field; nanobead; polysome; protein synthesis; ribosome; superparamagnetic particle; translation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Wegener, M.; Ennen, I.; Walhorn, V.; Anselmetti, D.; Hütten, A.; Dietz, K.-J. Magnetic Tracking of Protein Synthesis in Microfluidic Environments—Challenges and Perspectives. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 585.

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