Research Article

Microenvironment mapping via Dexter energy transfer on immune cells

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Science  06 Mar 2020:
Vol. 367, Issue 6482, pp. 1091-1097
DOI: 10.1126/science.aay4106

Pinpointing proteins

To develop drugs that target a specific cell surface protein, it's helpful to know which other proteins reside in its vicinity. Geri et al. report a light-triggered labeling technique that improves the spatial resolution for this type of mapping. Specifically, they rely on a photocatalyst with a very short energy-transfer range to activate a carbene-based label that can only diffuse a short distance in water before reacting. They showcase the technique by mapping the environment of the programmed-death ligand 1 (PDL1) protein on B cell surfaces, a system of considerable interest in cancer immunotherapy.

Science, this issue p. 1091

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