December 15, 2014

Molecular “hats” allow in vivo activation of disguised signaling peptides

When someone you know is wearing an unfamiliar hat, you might not recognize them. Georgia Institute of Technology researchers are using just such a disguise to sneak biomaterials containing peptide signaling molecules into living animals.

When the disguised peptides are needed to launch biological processes, the researchers shine ultraviolet light onto the molecules through the skin, causing the “hat” structures to come off. That allows cells and other molecules to recognize and interact with the peptides on the surface of the material.