Dr. Patrick Page-McCaw has developed synthetic analogs of N-acetylgalactosamine, finally enabling researchers to track the biosynthesis of chondroitin sulfate along with other glycans. These stunning images demonstrate incorporation of these metabolic labeling reagents to track neurodevelopmental processes in a zebrafish model system. Notably, the metabolic label can be detected post vivo using a standard "click" chemistry reaction. Further, Dr. Page-McCaw has optimized a background reduction strategy to complement this technology by improving the signal-to-noise ratio.
Kinesins are motor proteins in eukaryotic cells powered by ATP hydrolysis. These proteins are involved in various cellular functions including cell division. In particular, Kinesin-5 (also known as KIF11 and Eg5) is essential to forming the microtubule spindle structure in mitosis; therefore, this protein is a potential target for chemotherapeutics. Chimeric kinesin proteins, comprising one or more regions from at least two kinesin proteins, are valuable tools to study the molecular mechanism of kinesin function as well as to identify agents that affect kinesin motor function.