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Thursday, October 09, 2008


The Prize Nobel of Chemistry has just been distributed in equal parts among Osamu Shimomura (80 years, Japanese. Biological Marine Laboratory -MBL- Woods Hole, MA, USA), discoverer in 1962, of a green fluorescent protein (GFP), extracted from jellyfish Aequorea victory. The green bioluminescence of A. victory is produced by small photoorgans located in its umbrella. Shimomura and Frank Johnson (Princeton), noticed that the protein acquired a green color in front of sun light, yellow in front of a bulb light and green fluorescent in front of UV light. Shimonura discovered that in order to produce bioluminiscence, A.victoria, liberated ions of calcium, which after uniting with the protein aequorin, emitted blue light that turned green when being absorbed by the fluorescent green protein. Using DNA technology was possible later to connect the GFP to certain tagged invisible proteins, watching its movements, positions and interactions, follow destination of damaged cells during illness, of beta cells producers of insulin in the pancreas of embryos in growth, development of brain nervous cells, dissemination of cancer, etc.

Martin Chalfie (61 years, american. Columbia University New York/USA), for demonstrate the value of the GFP as luminous tool for several biological phenomena. As Chalfie needed to see the cells that he investigated, he devised to use the GFP, like a lantern or biological marker inserting the gene of GFP, near the switch of the gene of an organism. To modify a plant or an animal includes to modify the responsible gene for the GFP as part of the change, since the fluorescence will show if the modifications were successful or not improving the efficiency of the investigation. In 1992, with the help of Douglas Prasher (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts), inserted the gene of the GFP, in the bacteria E. coli. In 1994, Chalfie and colleagues inserted the GFP, in 6 cells of the worm C. elegans, fact that revealed its location by means of their green shine. Roger Y. Tsien (56 years, american. Professor of the University of California, San Diego, The Jolla, CA, USA), who help to understand the fluorescence of GFP, when enlarging the palette of colors beyond the green endowing with several colors to proteins and cells, allowing to follow several processes at the same time. As Tsien needed 2 colors of fluorescent proteins, he produce a mutation in the gene of GFP, obtaining brilliant blue light instead of green, allowing to follow simultaneously different processes. In an experiment, he transformed the brain of a mouse in a kaleidoscope of colors tagging different nervous cells, with different fluorescent proteins.


El Premio Nobel de Quimica acaba de ser repartido en partes iguales entre Osamu Shimomura (80 años, japonés. Marine Biological Laboratory -MBL- Woods Hole, MA, USA), descubridor en 1962, de la proteína fluorescente verde (GFP), extraida de la medusa Aequorea victoria. La bioluminescencia verde de A. victoria es producida por pequeños fotoórganos localizados en su paraguas. Shimomura y Frank Johnson (Princeton), notaron que la proteina adquiria un color verde frente a la luz solar, amarillo frente a un foco de luz y verde fluorescente frente a la luz UV. Shimonura descubrió que para producir bioluminiscencia, A.victoria, liberaba iones de calcio, los que al unirse con la proteína aequorin, emitían luz azul, que se tornaba en verde al ser absorbida por la proteina verde fluorescente. Usando tecnologia de DNA fué posible después conectar la GFP a ciertas proteinas invisibles, vigilando movimientos, posiciones e interacciones de proteinas marcadas, seguir el destino de células dañadas durante la enfermedad, de las células beta productoras de insulina en el páncreas de embriones en crecimiento, desarrollo de células nerviosas cerebrales, diseminación del cáncer, etc.

Martin Chalfie (61 años, Americano. Columbia University New York/USA), por demostrar el valor de la GFP como herramienta luminosa para varios fenómenos biológicos. Como Chalfie necesitaba ver las células que investigaba, ideó utilizar la GFP, como una linterna o marcador biológico insertando el gene de la GFP, cerca del switch del gene de un organismo. Por cierto, modificar una planta o un animal incluye modificar el gene responsable para la GFP como parte del cambio, ya que la fluorescencia dirá si las modificaciones fueron exitosas o no mejorando la eficiencia de la investigación. En 1992, con la ayuda de Douglas Prasher (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts), insertaron el gene de la GFP, en la bacteria E. coli. En 1994, Chalfie y colegas insertaron la GFP, en 6 células del gusano C. elegans, las que mediante su brillo verde revelaban su ubicación. Roger Y. Tsien (56 años, americano. Profesor de la Universidad de California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA), por ayudar a la comprensión general de como fluoresce la GFP, al ampliar la paleta de colores más allá del verde dotando de varios colores a proteinas y células, permitiendo seguir varios procesos al mismo tiempo. Como Tsien necesitaba 2 colores de proteinas fluorescentes, mutó al gene del GFP, obteniendo luz azul brillante en vez de verde, permitiendo rastrear simultáneamente diferentes procesos. En un experimento, transformó el cerebro de un ratón en un caleidoscopio de colores marcando diferentes células nerviosas, con diferentes proteinas fluorescentes.--



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