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Essential Reading

Lost in Translation

How do distinct signaling pathways interact with each other to control cell behavior? Researchers from the University of California San Diego, USA, might have found (some of) the answer to this long standing question. The team decided to investigate the underlying mechanisms of cross-talking between growth factor receptors and G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), which are involved in the main signaling pathways – with the latter posing as promising therapeutic agents. Employing linear ion trap mass spectrometry – and cell-based biophysical, biochemical, and phenotypic assays – they discovered that a phosphomimicking mutation suppresses GPCR signaling, possibly inducing a miscommunication chain responsible for pathogenesis of various conditions.

“We believe our findings are likely to be both important and timely, and will contribute to other emerging studies mapping the landscape of these two major signaling pathways that control practically every process in our cells,” said co-author Pradipta Ghosh in a press release

Underwater Exometabolomics

Scientists from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have recently discovered three new coral reef health indicators – homoserine betaine, tryptophan, and γ-aminobutyric acid, which will likely be key to monitoring marine environmental health – and assessing the impact of microbes and humans on these ecosystems. The key that led to this discovery was mass spectrometry-based targeted exometabolomics – where the team analyzed 45 polar dissolved phase metabolites from five coral reefs in the US Virgin Islands. “We highlight the immense potential of chemical derivatization-based exometabolomics for quantifying labile chemical cues on coral reefs and measuring molecular level responses to environmental stressors,” concluded the authors in their paper.

Worth your time…

The Heck lab successfully reveals the unique spider-like structure of C4b-binding protein – a crucial component of innate immunity –  with cross-linking MS and atomic microscopy. Link

Researchers develop a mass spec-based platform to identify isocitrate dehydrogenase mutations during asleep and awake brain surgery, within two minutes. Link

Combination of HPLC-MS with Triton X-114 cloud point extraction enables the detection of fungicides, tebuconazole, and triadimenol in various fruits and vegetables. Link 

Analysis of schizophrenia patients’ protein profiles with mass-spec based 4D-DIA proteomics technology identifies new potential diagnostic biomarkers – PFN1, GAPDH and ACTBL2. Link 

Community Corner

What was your favorite moment from ASMS 2024? 

The show might have wrapped up last week, but #TeamMassSpec is still buzzing about all the new technologies and developments unveiled during the annual conference – from Papanastasiou and Makarov’s latest Orbitrap to Lingjun Li’s EndoGenius platform for immunopeptidomics analysis.

For others, Disneyland was the highlight, but  what was yours? Share your best moments with us!

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About the Author
Markella Loi

Associate Editor, The Analytical Scientist

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