London, March 23 (IANS) In a first, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have identified a key protein that can prove relevant for research into diseases such as diabetes, arteriosclerosis and sclerosis.
The team has managed to develop a secure way of measuring the protein apo-M in our blood.
“We know that apo-M is of importance to the development of arteriosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases. Previously, we have discovered that apo-M carries a small fatty molecule, S1P, which plays a part in both diabetes and sclerosis,” explained associate professor Christina Christoffersen.
“Our new and secure measuring methods open up completely new perspectives on the research being conducted in these areas,” Christoffersen from the faculty of health and medical sciences added.
Efficient and correct measuring of apo-M has long proven a challenge to researchers across the globe. However, the Danish researchers have utilised a sandwich of commercial antibodies to identify the protein that was described in the American Journal of Lipid Research.
“The protein is attached to the good cholesterol (HDL) which makes measuring it difficult. It is folded like a small funnel, but expressed in popular terms, we have managed to unfold it, which makes it much easier to identify,” Christoffersen elaborated.
Even though it has taken several years to develop this method, it is so simple that researchers all over the world can start using it immediately.
“These antibodies are actually commercially available, so all you have to do is order them and start measuring,” Christoffersen concluded.