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Cell Guidance Systems Blog
Glycosylation is the addition of glycan groups to proteins. This affects about 50% of proteins, including exosomal proteins, modulating their function. This impacts and reflects states of health and disease. As well as characterizing exosome glycosylation states for diagnostic purposes, glycosylation control strategies for therapeutic applications are in development.
Recombinant proteins provide a powerful research tool and have also transformed the treatment of many diseases. From the smallest peptide to larger proteins, such as antibodies, how proteins are delivered and reach their target is critical to their function and just as important as their activity on the target.
Major differences in cell behaviour develop when cells are cultured on petri dishes or hard material surfaces instead of their native biological environment. Biomaterials, particularly hydrogels, which can bridge this gap, are a key area of cell research.
Preserving maternal RNA transmitted by an oocyte to its progeny is an essential aspect of oogenesis, yet not much is known about how this is achieved in mammalian species. In a recent issue of Science, researchers at the Max Planck Institute in Gottingen, Germany [Cheng et al. (2022)] uncovered the MARDO, a novel structure that may help answer this longstanding question.
Living cellular structures that can respond to their environment are being developed. These structures seek to revolutionise the methods of traditional material technology and offer ways to address real-life challenges in medicine, biotechnology and sustainability.
A major challenge of working with exosomes and other types of extracellular vesicles (EVs) is their characterization and agreeing parameters that define each group. Recently, this task has become even more challenging with a dawning realization that proteins (and nucleic acids) loosely associated with the surface of exosomes, once thought to be artefacts of purification, are functionally important.
Purified recombinant proteins are used in products ranging from biological soap powders to cutting-edge medicines. The rate at which these proteins degrade is critical to their function. Technologies that address the rate of degradation and enable novel applications can transform the value of a protein
The tumour microenvironment (TME) is a dynamic, highly heterogeneous structure consisting of both transformed (mutated) cells, non-transformed cells (including immune cells, stromal cells and blood vessels) and microbes. These cells are held in an extracellular matrix of proteins and other factors secreted by the cells. An increased understanding of the TME is behind many of the latest advancements in cancer therapy.
The recent emergence of genetic therapies has focussed attention on exosomes as a possible mechanism for their efficient delivery. Exosomes provide an efficient, natural mechanism for transferring RNA into cells. Exosomes are also durable, have low levels of immunogenicity and can be produced economically at scale. The biggest hurdle to the widespread adoption of exosomes as delivery vehicles is their low cargo-loading efficiency.