- Sackstein, R; Fuhlbrigge, R
- Western blotting has proven to be an important technique in the analysis of receptor-ligand interactions (i.e., by ligand blotting) and for identifying molecules mediating cell attachment (i.e., by cell blotting). Conventional ligand blotting and cell blotting methods employ non-dynamic (static) incubation conditions, whereby molecules or cells of interest are placed in suspension and overlaid on membranes. However, many cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesive interactions occur under fluid shear conditions, and shear stress itself mediates and/or facilitates the engagement of these physiologically appropriate receptors and ligands. Notably, shear forces critically influence the adhesion of circulating cells and platelets to vessel walls in physiologic cell migration and hemostasis, as well as in inflammatory and thrombotic disorders, cancer metastasis, and atherosclerosis. Use of non-dynamic blotting conditions to analyze such interactions can introduce bias, overtly missing relevant effectors and/or exaggerating the relative role(s) of non- physiologic adhesion molecules. To address this shortfall, we have developed a new technique for identifying binding interactions under fluid shear conditions, the “blot rolling assay.” Using this method, molecules in a complex mixture are resolved by gel electrophoresis, transferred to a membrane that is rendered semitransparent, and the membrane is then incorporated into a parallel-plate flow chamber apparatus. Under controlled flow conditions, cells or particles bearing adhesion proteins of interest are then introduced into the chamber and interactions with individual immobilized molecules (bands) can be visualized in real time. The substrate molecule(s) supporting adhesion under fluid shear can then be identified by staining with specific antibodies or by excising the relevant band(s) and performing mass spectrometry or microsequencing of the isolated material. This method thus allows for the identification, within a complex mixture and without prior isolation or purification, of both known and previously uncharacterized adhesion molecules operational under dynamic conditions.
- January 1, 2015
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