Uppsala University researchers have refined an existing method to see how proteins undergo change inside a cell, and they believe that it has the capacity to revolutionize cancer diagnostics.
Proteins build up the body's cells and tissues, and the knowledge of the human genome also necessitates that today's scientists are aware of all of the proteins that our body can produce.
It is known that many morbid conditions can be linked to changes in proteins, so it is important to enhance our knowledge of what proteins bind to each other, how they work together, and how processes are impacted by various disturbances.
In 2006 Ola Soderberg and his colleagues at the Department of Genetics and Pathology devised a new technique, in situ PLA (in situ proximity ligation assay), which could detect communication between proteins in cells.
The researchers have now refined the method to understand what is wrong with the sick cell. "The method provides a better potential to truly understand how proteins function in the cell and can show what is wrong with a sick cell, as in cancer, for instance. The refined method has the potential to revolutionize cancer diagnostics, so there has been a great deal of interest in the method from the research community," said Ola Söderberg.
The technique is more sensitive and more reliable than other available techniques in molecular diagnostics, and it has already started to be sold by the Uppsala company Olink, so there are high hopes that it will soon be used in health care.
The study is published in the latest issue of Molecular and Cellular Proteomics.