Apoptosis is a highly regulated form of programmed cell death that occurs in multicellular organisms during development, throughout the lifespan, and in response to cellular stress. Nuclear condensation, cell shrinkage, membrane blebbing, and DNA fragmentation are characteristic features of the cellular disassembly that occurs during this form of cell death. A family of proteolytic enzymes, called caspases, serves as the central regulators of apoptosis, and their activity, in turn, is balanced by myriad additional pro-apoptotic and anti-apoptotic proteins. The dysregulation of apoptosis occurs in and contributes to the pathology of several disease states, including autoimmune disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer. Therefore, understanding how and why apoptosis influences these biological processes may lead to advances in therapies to treat and benefit human health.
Topics: Cell Biology
When it comes to mouse tissue samples, not all loading control proteins are expressed equally. For example, there are relatively low amounts of β-actin in mouse heart and relatively low amounts of GAPDH in mouse small intestine. Plus, under certain experimental conditions, the protein levels of some loading control proteins can be affected. β-actin mRNA levels, for instance, can change with insulin treatments in some tissues. It is important to do research in advance and determine what the best loading control is for your sample type and experiment.
During the pandemic, supply shortages took many of us by surprise. Who would have thought items as diverse as webcams and toilet paper would become nearly impossible to buy?
Toll-like receptors (TLR) are transmembrane receptors that play a critical role in innate immune responses. The name derives from the homology to the Drosophila Toll gene; unlike adaptive immunity which evolved in the vertebrate lineage, innate immunity exists (and is conserved) in invertebrate branches.
The human immune system comprises an array of ingenious cellular components and mechanisms that collectively protect us from harmful exogenous pathogens. Harnessing this power to attack and treat cancer is an intense area of research. Understanding why cancer cells normally evade immune surveillance and developing strategies to help the immune system distinguish between tumor cells and healthy tissue may lead to the development of highly efficacious therapies for those afflicted with cancer.
During haematopoiesis in humans, cells of the myeloid lineage are derived from a common myeloid progenitor (CMP) in the bone marrow. This lineage — which includes monocytes, granulocytes, erythrocytes, and platelets — is a primary component of the innate immune system and serves as a first line of defense against infection.
Biological research is about expanding knowledge, so it's not uncommon for scientists to become interested in studying proteins for which antibodies have not yet been developed. How then, can scientists pursue mechanistic studies of these novel or less-characterized proteins? Epitope tagging is a powerful tool for these protein studies and is used in myriad experimental applications. However, care must be taken not only in choice of epitope tag, but in selection and validation of antibodies.
Topics: Antibody Performance
Interested in studying senescence? Understanding when and why cell cycle arrest occurs is critical to many fields of research, including (but not limited to) studies of development, aging, and cancer. We all know the best tools produce the best results, so make sure you have all your bases covered with this list of the top 10 targets for your senescence research!
During this time of crisis, healthcare providers and researchers around the world are racing to develop SARS-CoV-2 testing methods. Testing strategies include PCR to diagnose active infection (by testing for the presence of viral genetic material) and the use of antibody test kits on blood (also known as serological tests), in order to track exposure and possible immunity in the population (1,2,3). With these diagnostic tools, the scientific community aims to get a better understanding of the scale and trajectory of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.
If one were asked to describe a Cell Signaling Technology (CST) antibody sampler kit, we would totally understand an answer like, “it’s an assortment of antibodies.” Honestly, on its face, that answer isn’t exactly wrong. It just makes the process seem a little random. Especially considering the reality: