The latest cover of the respected chemistry journal Angew Chem features the Nanoprobes and Nanoswitches group’s paper, released online last month, that describes a strategy to quickly and reversibly impair the function of specific proteins using light-regulated inhibitory peptides. As well as being chosen for the cover, their paper was among the 5% to be included in the ‘Very Important Paper’ section of the journal, and has also been extensively publicised in the press both here and abroad.
Pau Gorostiza and the IRB’s Ernest Giralt and their teams synthesized two peptides which change shape upon irradiation with light, so allowing or preventing specific protein-protein interactions. “Photo-sensitive peptides act like traffic lights – they can be made to give a green or red light for cell endocytosis,” says Pau. “They allow the use of focalized light to control and study biological processes.”