A new method developed by scientists in Denmark has given the team unprecedented insight into protein phosphorylation.
Scientists at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research at the University of Copenhagen have used a new method to assemble a massive catalogue of data on proteins. This could help unravel the mechanisms of disease, and the resource could soon be open to the wider science community to use like a big atlas.
Postdoc Alicia Lundby, from the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research, says: “Phosphorylation changes are really important to our understanding of cancer and other diseases. Although the study of phosphorylation goes back decades, up until now we hadn’t been able to measure overall phosphorylation changes in tissue samples. Understanding these phosphorylation changes brings us a step closer to unravelling the mechanisms of disease.”
Phosphorylation acts like a switch that activates proteins, altering their function and changing cell signalling pathways. These signalling pathways are like cellular control panels. Deregulated cell signalling, when the control panel malfunctions, is a common hallmark of disease.