Image: A receptor (shown in purple) in the cell membrane is fused to the luminescent enzyme derived from that found in a deep sea shrimp. When a small molecule pharmaceutical attached to a fluorescent molecule binds to the receptor.
Original Published Date: 
Thursday, July 23, 2015

Researchers at The University of Western Australia, funded by an ARC Linkage project, have found that an enzyme squirted out of deep sea shrimp causing a bright blue burst to scare away predators is the key to innovative scientific work to develop new therapies for serious human diseases. Associate Professor Kevin Pfleger and colleagues, tested a derivative of the bioluminescent protein and found it was a “game-changer” for monitoring the way hormones and pharmaceuticals bind to receptors on the surface of living cells. “Understanding how medicines bind to receptors on the cell is incredibly important for discovering and developing new therapies to help patients,” said Associate Professor Pfleger. “Our world-first approach enables this binding to be observed in live cells in real-time under physiological conditions in a way that has not been possible before.”

Media issued by The University of Western Australia

Photo credit: 

Image courtesy: Promega.