Pune: IISER Scientists Develop Device To Measure Changes In Protein

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Pune, 7th December 2022: It is now possible to measure the stiffness or flexibility of the proteins that act as microscopic machines in the human body.


A group of scientists led by Dr Shivprasad Patil at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER Pune) has researched this and developed a device and method to measure the flexibility or stiffness of proteins.


Dr Shivprasad Patil, Surya Pratap Devpa, Shatrughan Singh Rajput, and Adarsh Kumar are part of the team. The research ‘Direct and Simultaneous Measurement of the Stiffness and Internal Friction of the Single Folded Protein’ was published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. Proteins in the human body work very minutely. But the question of how to measure their flexibility or hardness has been in front of scientists for many years. In this regard, research is going on all over the world. But Dr Shivprasad Patil’s research group succeeded in measuring the flexibility or stiffness of proteins by increasing the sensitivity of the atomic force microscope device by a thousand times.


Protein is a very important element in the body. Many diseases, including diabetes and heart disease, are genetic. Therefore, diseases are predicted based on the changes in the genes. Then some conclusions are drawn by comparing the genes of a healthy person and a sick person. Genes ultimately contain the complete information for making proteins. Errors in it result in disturbances in the structure and function of proteins. Therefore, it is more important to note the changes in proteins. For that, it is important to know the stiffness or flexibility of the protein. Until now, taking a protein molecule and compressing it has been a difficult task. But now, due to this research, experts will be able to understand the hardness, flexibility and changes in proteins, Dr Patil explained.


“It is now possible to study what has changed in the proteins, whether their shape has changed, and whether their stiffness or flexibility has changed. Therefore, this research will be useful in the field of anatomy and medicine in the future. More research is going on in that regard,” Patil mentioned.