The fight against human disease requires a multidisciplinary scientific approach. Applying tools from seemingly unrelated areas, such as materials science and molecular biology, researchers can overcome long-standing challenges to improve knowledge of molecular pathologies. Here, custom-designed substrates composed of silicon nitride (SiN) are used to study the 3D attributes of tumor suppressor proteins that function in DNA repair events. New on-chip preparation strategies enable the isolation of native protein complexes from human cancer cells. Combined techniques of cryo-electron microscopy (EM) and molecular modeling reveal a new modified form of the p53 tumor suppressor present in aggressive glioblastoma multiforme cancer cells. Taken together, the findings provide a radical new design for cryo-EM substrates to evaluate the structures of disease-related macromolecules.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)