Researchers have discovered a unique method for sensing calcium activity inside cells

Nov, 2021 - By SMI

Researchers have discovered a unique method for sensing calcium activity inside cells

A team of Georgia State University researchers conducted a study that demonstrated the efficacy of a red biosensor that can directly detect calcium at particular places within a cell, a result that might assist in a deeper insight into the molecular basis of human disorders.

Calcium is required for numerous physiological functions, such as muscular, neurological, circulatory, and digestive system health and function. Calcium increases signaling molecules that cause a reaction within cells, regulates the release of neurotransmitters (chemical messengers that carry messages from neurons), causes muscle cells to contract, and assists in fertilizations. Calcium is also necessary for normal bone development, and many cellular activities require or use calcium. Calcium transport and levels, given their large variety of activities, can serve as useful markers of biological systems and changes. Early efforts at creating calcium sensor devices capable of monitoring fast signaling changes, however, have been confined to the poor responses of the sensors described.

There were difficulties in capturing the rapid changes in highly specific areas. For instance, if a person has a muscular injury, there is a particular muscle cell calcium change that happens quickly. The researchers devised a method for designing a calcium binding site onto the surface of multiple fluorescent proteins in order to better collect these signals. The research demonstrates that the red calcium sensor, known as R-CatchER, is extremely sensitive to calcium signals in a variety of cell types.

The team's finding is a breakthrough after decades of developing and perfecting their approach. They published an article in the journal iScience on the creation of a green calcium sensor known as G-CatchER+. After years of developing and perfecting their technique, the team's results represent a breakthrough. They just published a paper in the journal iScience on the development of G-CatchER+, a green calcium sensor.

Furthermore, R-CatchER might be beneficial for lab research and investigations, such as establishing whether there is a link between calcium alterations and a specific disease. Their approach might also help in the development of new drugs. The next step, according to the researchers, is to test the technology in animal models to better understand how diverse cell activities contribute to diseases.

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