Scientists in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of the Pacific have been using a Brookhaven ZetaPALS System to investigate the mechanisms behind biological energy transduction. Professor of Biochemistry and Director of Biomedical Research, Stefan Highsmith, explained: “We are studying the electrical properties of contractile proteins, like actin, myosin, tubulin and members of the kinesin family, which we have isolated from a number of different tissues, including muscle and brain. When mixed with ATP, these proteins move around and change their shape, which is reflected in their hydrodynamic size, and we want to find out what conformational changes could be responsible for this.”
The ZetaPALS is a particle size and zeta potential analyzer with a wide range capability from macromolecular dimensions up to a micron or more. Professor Highsmith, continued: “We use a ZetaPALS System to do this work because it’s very reliable and accurate. Our instrument has been fitted with a BI-SM50 small volume cell so we can manipulate tiny quantities of samples to follow reactions in real time, something we have been unable to do with other instruments. In combination with a BI-APD avalanche photodiode detector, the ZetaPALS System has given us a ten-fold increase in sensitivity, even at very low sample concentrations, and allows us to collect data more quickly.”
“Brookhaven was our collaborator on the first project we ever did using the ZetaPALS and the staff are very responsive and helpful,” concluded Stefan.