Cell Biology

More or Less Durable

Science Signaling  15 Feb 2011:
Vol. 4, Issue 160, pp. ec48
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.4160ec48

The ability to measure protein half-lives on a large scale in human cells should contribute to our understanding of a variety of physiological and pathological processes. To meet this goal, Eden et al. (see the Perspective by Plotkin) developed a method called bleach-chase. Bleach-chase was used to reveal an unexpectedly simple response of fluorescently tagged protein half-lives to stresses and to drugs that stop cell division: Long-lived proteins become longer-lived. It appears that changes in cell growth cause changes in the intracellular dilution rates of proteins, which are not balanced by corresponding changes in active protein degradation.

E. Eden, N. Geva-Zatorsky, I. Issaeva, A. Cohen, E. Dekel, T. Danon, L. Cohen, A. Mayo, U. Alon, Proteome half-life dynamics in living human cells. Science 331, 764–768 (2011). [Abstract] [Full Text]

J. B. Plotkin, The lives of proteins. Science 331, 683–684 (2011). [Abstract] [Full Text]