Reflections on the use of protein binders to study protein function in developmental biology

Aguilar, Gustavo and Vigano, M. Alessandra and Affolter, Markus and Matsuda, Shinya. (2019) Reflections on the use of protein binders to study protein function in developmental biology. WIREs Developmental Biology, 8 (6). e356.

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Studies in the field of developmental biology aim to unravel how a fertilized egg develops into an adult organism and how proteins and other macromolecules work together during this process. With regard to protein function, most of the developmental studies have used genetic and RNA interference approaches, combined with biochemical analyses, to reach this goal. However, there always remains much room for interpretation on how a given protein functions, because proteins work together with many other molecules in complex regulatory networks and it is not easy to reveal the function of one given protein without affecting the networks. Likewise, it has remained difficult to experimentally challenge and/or validate the proposed concepts derived from mutant analyses without tools that directly manipulate protein function in a predictable manner. Recently, synthetic tools based on protein binders such as scFvs, nanobodies, DARPins, and others have been applied in developmental biology to directly manipulate target proteins in a predicted manner. Although such tools would have a great impact in filling the gap of knowledge between mutant phenotypes and protein functions, careful investigations are required when applying functionalized protein binders to fundamental questions in developmental biology. In this review, we first summarize how protein binders have been used in the field, and then reflect on possible guidelines for applying such tools to study protein functions in developmental biology. This article is categorized under: Technologies > Analysis of Proteins Establishment of Spatial and Temporal Patterns > Gradients Invertebrate Organogenesis > Flies.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Biozentrum > Growth & Development > Cell Biology (Affolter)
UniBasel Contributors:Matsuda, Shinya and Affolter, Markus and Aguilar, Gustavo and Vigano, Maria Alessandra
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:17 Aug 2020 15:52
Deposited On:17 Aug 2020 15:52

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