Scientists have developed a new way to see inside individual cells, and study how they move and operate inside the human body. This improved understanding of cell-level activity could give researchers extra insight and tools to tackle cancers and other diseases.
The University of Leeds team is using a lab-made protein called an Affimer that binds to the F-actin protein. Michelle Peckham, Professor of Cell Biology at the Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology has been involved in newly-published research explaining the advance. Professor Peckham said: “These Affimers provide a new tool for live cell imaging and reducing the use of animals in research. Being able to see the F-actin in motion could enable proteins which bind to the actin and regulate its movement to be studied in greater depth; these interactions have been linked to a wide range of diseases including cancer, neurological disorders and cardiomyopathies.”