Nanopore technology is generally used for DNA sequencing. It provides a portable, low-cost solution and works both in the jungle and in space. Now, this technology could potentially be used to identify proteins or peptides. Scientists from the University of Groningen have used a patented nanopore technology to detect the fingerprints of peptides and proteins.
This technology is also capable of detecting polypeptides that differ by just a single amino acid. The results of the study have been reported in the journal, Nature Communications.
The Researchers were able to detect several proteins and peptides passing through a funnel-shaped nanopore. In addition, they have successfully solved two major issues that have hindered efforts to inspect and sequence proteins with nanopores – first is getting the polypeptides into the pore, and second is detecting the variations in proteins through current recordings.
“Nanopores usually carry a charge, and the amino acids that make up polypeptides are also charged. Getting the polypeptide inside the pore and to pass through nanopores is therefore a challenge.”
Giovanni Maglia, Associate Professor of Chemical Biology, University of Groningen