A Magnetic Nanoprobe Technology for Detecting Molecular Interactions in Live Cells

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Science  01 Jul 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5731, pp. 121-125
DOI: 10.1126/science.1112869

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Technologies to assess the molecular targets of biomolecules in living cells are lacking. We have developed a technology called magnetism-based interaction capture (MAGIC) that identifies molecular targets on the basis of induced movement of superparamagnetic nanoparticles inside living cells. Efficient intracellular uptake of superparamagnetic nanoparticles (coated with a small molecule of interest) was mediated by a transducible fusogenic peptide. These nanoprobes captured the small molecule's labeled target protein and were translocated in a direction specified by the magnetic field. Use of MAGIC in genome-wide expression screening identified multiple protein targets of a drug. MAGIC was also used to monitor signal-dependent modification and multiple interactions of proteins.

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