[Club100] Electron Crystallography and Ultracentrifugation as Diagnosis Tools

4개월 전

Greetings fellow Steemians now I come with an interesting point, a must read not to be ignorant. On our recent posts we saw how we could diagnos disease based on Ultrastructure and perturbation of the cell membrane. Here is the link if you missed it.


Electron Crystallography (or Fourier-Bessel method)

The principle is a method based on the study of proteins in crystallized form which reveals their 3D structure and their amino acid sequence. There are two types of crystals designed for the study of protein and lipid networks. One is in sheet form (2D) and the other is in tube form (tubular form).

The matrix and the symmetry of both shapes precisely define the position and orientation of each molecule. Using both types to its advantage, the crystal revealed precise details of individual molecules and protein chains.
Electron crystallization of membrane proteins confirmed the "fluid mosaic model" of membrane structure proposed by Singer and Nicolson.


This is a separation technique using an apparatus called an ultracentrifuge. Given that each component of the membrane (sphingolipids, phospholipids, protein channels, and transmembrane proteins) has its own sedimentation coefficient, it is therefore possible to separate each of these elements by applying different speeds of rotation and isolating these elements.
Source A Centrifugator; It is a machine that is used in separating substances based on their masses at a very high speed of rotation, where the heavy ones goes to the bottom and the light ones at the top

This ultracentrifugation coupled with an analysis by electron microscopy will analyze the ultrastructure of the various elements separate. The ultracentrifugation-electron microscopy coupling has therefore been used to diagnose pathologies of the channels such as sodium, potassium, and calcium channelopathies as well as aquaporinopathies, which are the anomalies of aquaporins.

Diagnosis of hereditary spherocytosis can be made by microscopic observation of a blood smear:

The proteins of the red cell membrane (band 3, spectrin and ankyrin), after mutation of the gene coding for their formation, will be absent or will have a different conformation, which will change the conformation of the whole cell. A microscopic observation of the blood smear allows the observation of the shape of the red blood cell.

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Thanks for sharing this great knowledge bro.


You are welcome bro. Stay tuned for more stuff