Molecular interactions in cells

To complement analyses using chemical, structural and biophysical approaches in vitro, researchers in the Astbury Centre also study molecular interactions in the context of the whole cell. Protein-nucleic acid, protein-protein and protein-lipid interactions within cells are investigated using biochemical approaches such as confocal microscopy, immunoprecipitation, immunofluorescence, proteomic technologies etc.

We complement these traditional capabilities with a range of state-of-the-art imaging technologies to allow the interrogation of biology at different resolutions. Populations of cells are interrogated by flow cytometry and cell sorting. At an individual cell level, conventional light microscopy (e.g. confocal and deconvolution) studies can be complemented by super-resolution approaches (PALM/STORM, STED and SIM) and cryo-electron tomography. Correlative Light and Electron Microscopy (CLEM) allows the integration of datasets derived from different imaging methods to provide unique insights into the localisation, effects and functions of biological molecules within cells. A confocal microscope situated in a newly refurbished (2018) Category III containment facility provides the opportunity to study cells infected with pathogens.