Thursday, January 16, 2020

Quantitative live cell imaging + proteomics shows real time influenza progression!

This brand new study at Nature something or other is timely, interesting and shows a combination of techniques complementing each other I'd never have thought of!

Live cell imaging? That can't help with proteomics...I does looking at the surface of a cell help?

It turns out that, live cell imaging (light microscopy!) has gotten massively sophisticated! Those images at the top are Rab11 foci!  So... live cell imaging of protein complexes inside a normal human cell. That's pretty awesome all on it's own, right?

What could make it even better? Involving proteomics, obviously, but -- you know -- let's leave that part out of the title. THEN let's do something that is right at the front of everyone's mind right now -- influenza!!

If that doesn't make you want to read this, we probably can't be friends.

Rab11 is a protein that maintains other proteins at the cell surface and helps recycle the vesicles. This group shows how the influenza virus messes up Rab11(a?) function by what appears to be messing up the dyneins. You can't figure out that it's the dyneins by even the fanciest of light microscopes, but you can by immunoprecipitation-mass spec assays! Speaking of which, I'd like to direct your eyes to a great way to display data from IP-MS/AE-MS.

Whoever did the plots for the study knows how to drive home the results and conclusions. But if that isn't enough for you, all the data is available at PRIDE via ProteomeXchange here.

Take it all together? And we've got a better understanding of how influenza screws up a key and massively evolutionarily conserved system. Could you have done this study with just protoemics? Probably! However, the light microscopy is surprisingly useful toward driving the point home and the images are stunning. I'd probably put something snarky about how this is a good lesson in catering to the people who still don't understand why we're still going on about that mass spectroscopy stuff, but I'm almost over this goshdarned virus and my mood is much better, so I won't.

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