TimeSTAMP (Time – Specific Tag for the Age Measurement of Proteins) is a technique invented by Michael Z. Lin at the Roger Tsien lab at the University of California, San Diego in 2008. It is a technique that can specifically label the newly synthesized copies of the genetically tagged protein.
The TimeSTAMP technique for labelling newly synthesized proteins of interest and is based on drug–dependent preservation of epitope tags
A simple diagram showing the strategy for drug–dependent epitope tagging of newly synthesized proteins can be found here: .
In this technique, a tag that is present on all the proteins that are synthesized after the one-time administration of a small molecule drug. To achieve this goal, specific protease activity is incorporated to confer self–removing behaviour onto an epitope tag. Then, a corresponding protease inhibitor is used in order to block the removal of the tag. As a result, only those proteins synthesized after the application of inhibitor would be tagged.
A subsequent variant of TimeSTAMP allows for drug-dependent preservation of fluorescent protein tags.
As TimeSTAMP technique can achieve temporally controlled labelling of newly synthesized proteins of interest even in thick tissues or intact animals and provide a sensitive, specific detection, the distribution of newly synthesized protein in a living animal can be studied
Proteasomes are protein complexes which degrade unneeded or damaged proteins by proteolysis, a chemical reaction that breaks peptide bonds. Enzymes that help such reactions are called proteases.
The green fluorescent protein (GFP) is a protein that exhibits bright green fluorescence when exposed to light in the blue to ultraviolet range. The label GFP traditionally refers to the protein first isolated from the jellyfish Aequorea victoria and is sometimes called avGFP. However, GFPs have been found in other organisms including corals, sea anemones, zoanithids, copepods and lancelets.
In molecular biology and biotechnology, a fluorescent tag, also known as a fluorescent label or fluorescent probe, is a molecule that is attached chemically to aid in the detection of a biomolecule such as a protein, antibody, or amino acid. Generally, fluorescent tagging, or labeling, uses a reactive derivative of a fluorescent molecule known as a fluorophore. The fluorophore selectively binds to a specific region or functional group on the target molecule and can be attached chemically or biologically. Various labeling techniques such as enzymatic labeling, protein labeling, and genetic labeling are widely utilized. Ethidium bromide, fluorescein and green fluorescent protein are common tags. The most commonly labelled molecules are antibodies, proteins, amino acids and peptides which are then used as specific probes for detection of a particular target.
An epitope, also known as antigenic determinant, is the part of an antigen that is recognized by the immune system, specifically by antibodies, B cells, or T cells. The epitope is the specific piece of the antigen to which an antibody binds. The part of an antibody that binds to the epitope is called a paratope. Although epitopes are usually non-self proteins, sequences derived from the host that can be recognized are also epitopes.
Immunofluorescence is a technique used for light microscopy with a fluorescence microscope and is used primarily on microbiological samples. This technique uses the specificity of antibodies to their antigen to target fluorescent dyes to specific biomolecule targets within a cell, and therefore allows visualization of the distribution of the target molecule through the sample. The specific region an antibody recognizes on an antigen is called an epitope. There have been efforts in epitope mapping since many antibodies can bind the same epitope and levels of binding between antibodies that recognize the same epitope can vary. Additionally, the binding of the fluorophore to the antibody itself cannot interfere with the immunological specificity of the antibody or the binding capacity of its antigen. Immunofluorescence is a widely used example of immunostaining and is a specific example of immunohistochemistry. This technique primarily makes use of fluorophores to visualise the location of the antibodies.
Immunohistochemistry (IHC) is the most common application of immunostaining. It involves the process of selectively identifying antigens (proteins) in cells of a tissue section by exploiting the principle of antibodies binding specifically to antigens in biological tissues. IHC takes its name from the roots "immuno", in reference to antibodies used in the procedure, and "histo", meaning tissue. Albert Coons conceptualized and first implemented the procedure in 1941.
Chemical biology is a scientific discipline spanning the fields of chemistry and biology. The discipline involves the application of chemical techniques, analysis, and often small molecules produced through synthetic chemistry, to the study and manipulation of biological systems. In contrast to biochemistry, which involves the study of the chemistry of biomolecules and regulation of biochemical pathways within and between cells, chemical biology deals with chemistry applied to biology.
Protein tags are peptide sequences genetically grafted onto a recombinant protein. Often these tags are removable by chemical agents or by enzymatic means, such as proteolysis or intein splicing. Tags are attached to proteins for various purposes. They can be added to either end of the target protein, so they are either C-terminus or N-terminus specific or are both C-terminus and N-terminus specific. Some tags are also inserted into the coding sequence of the protein of interest; they are known as internal tags.
Fusion proteins or chimeric (kī-ˈmir-ik) proteins are proteins created through the joining of two or more genes that originally coded for separate proteins. Translation of this fusion gene results in a single or multiple polypeptides with functional properties derived from each of the original proteins. Recombinant fusion proteins are created artificially by recombinant DNA technology for use in biological research or therapeutics. Chimeric or chimera usually designate hybrid proteins made of polypeptides having different functions or physico-chemical patterns. Chimeric mutant proteins occur naturally when a complex mutation, such as a chromosomal translocation, tandem duplication, or retrotransposition creates a novel coding sequence containing parts of the coding sequences from two different genes. Naturally occurring fusion proteins are commonly found in cancer cells, where they may function as oncoproteins. The bcr-abl fusion protein is a well-known example of an oncogenic fusion protein, and is considered to be the primary oncogenic driver of chronic myelogenous leukemia.
Activity-based proteomics, or activity-based protein profiling (ABPP) is a functional proteomic technology that uses chemical probes that react with mechanistically related classes of enzymes.
HIV-1 protease (PR) is a retroviral aspartyl protease (retropepsin), an enzyme involved with peptide bond hydrolysis in retroviruses, that is essential for the life-cycle of HIV, the retrovirus that causes AIDS. HIV protease cleaves newly synthesized polyproteins at nine cleavage sites to create the mature protein components of an HIV virion, the infectious form of a virus outside of the host cell. Without effective HIV protease, HIV virions remain uninfectious.
Roger Yonchien Tsien was an American biochemist. He was a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery and development of the green fluorescent protein, in collaboration with organic chemist Osamu Shimomura and neurobiologist Martin Chalfie. Tsien was also a pioneer of calcium imaging.
Alice Yen-Ping Ting is Taiwanese-born American chemist. She is a professor of Genetics, of Biology, and by courtesy, of Chemistry at Stanford University. She is also a Chan Zuckerberg Biohub investigator.
A peptide microarray is a collection of peptides displayed on a solid surface, usually a glass or plastic chip. Peptide chips are used by scientists in biology, medicine and pharmacology to study binding properties and functionality and kinetics of protein-protein interactions in general. In basic research, peptide microarrays are often used to profile an enzyme, to map an antibody epitope or to find key residues for protein binding. Practical applications are seromarker discovery, profiling of changing humoral immune responses of individual patients during disease progression, monitoring of therapeutic interventions, patient stratification and development of diagnostic tools and vaccines.
A thermal shift assay (TSA) measures changes in the thermal denaturation temperature and hence stability of a protein under varying conditions such as variations in drug concentration, buffer pH or ionic strength, redox potential, or sequence mutation. The most common method for measuring protein thermal shifts is differential scanning fluorimetry (DSF) or thermofluor, which utilizes specialized fluorogenic dyes.
FlAsH-EDT2 is an organoarsenic compound with molecular formula C24H18As2O5S4. Its structure is based around a fluorescein core with two 1,3,2-dithiarsolane substituents. It is used in bioanalytical research as a fluorescent label for visualising proteins in living cells. FlAsH-EDT2 is an abbreviation for fluorescin arsenical hairpin binder-ethanedithiol, and is a pale yellow or pinkish fluorogenic solid. It has a semi-structural formula (C2H4AsS2)2-(C13H5O3)-C6H4COOH, representing the dithiarsolane substituents bound to the hydroxyxanthone core, attached to an o-substituted molecule of benzoic acid.
Calcium imaging is a microscopy technique to optically measure the calcium (Ca2+) status of an isolated cell, tissue or medium. Calcium imaging takes advantage of calcium indicators, fluorescent molecules that respond to the binding of Ca2+ ions by fluorescence properties. Two main classes of calcium indicators exist: chemical indicators and genetically encoded calcium indicators (GECI). This technique has allowed studies of calcium signalling in a wide variety of cell types. In neurons, electrical activity is always accompanied by an influx of Ca2+ ions. Thus, calcium imaging can be used to monitor the electrical activity in hundreds of neurons in cell culture or in living animals, which has made it possible to dissect the function of neuronal circuits.
Degradomics is a sub-discipline of biology encompassing all the genomic and proteomic approaches devoted to the study of proteases, their inhibitors, and their substrates on a system-wide scale. This includes the analysis of the protease and protease-substrate repertoires, also called "protease degradomes". The scope of these degradomes can range from cell, tissue, and organism-wide scales.
Small ultra red fluorescent protein (smURFP) is a class of far-red fluorescent protein evolved from a cyanobacterial phycobiliprotein, α-allophycocyanin. Native α-allophycocyanin requires an exogenous protein, known as a lyase, to attach the chromophore, phycocyanobilin. Phycocyanobilin is not present in mammalian cells. smURFP was evolved to covalently attach phycocyanobilin without a lyase and fluoresce, covalently attach biliverdin and fluoresce, blue-shift fluorescence to match the organic fluorophore, Cy5, and not inhibit E. coli growth. smURFP was found after 12 rounds of random mutagenesis and manually screening 10,000,000 bacterial colonies.
Michael Z. Lin is a Taiwanese-American biochemist and bioengineer. He is an Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Bioengineering at Stanford University. He is best known for his work on engineering optically and chemically controllable proteins.