POSTECH: Temperature measurement inside cells – India Education | Latest Education News | World Education News

Organelles inside cells constantly perform specific functions in the same way that individual departments, called organelles, handle certain tasks in an organization. Cellular processes change the amount of heat generated by organelles, but it is not easy to monitor these changes in cells, which are too small to see with the naked eye. Recently, however, a joint research team from Korea and Japan found a way to visualize temperature changes in almost all typical organelles.

Professor Young-Tae Chang from the Chemistry Department of POSTECH (Associate Director of the Center for Self-Assembly and Complexity, Institute of Basic Sciences (IBS)) and Dr. Xiao Liu from IBS collaborated with Professors Satoshi Arai and Takeru Yamazaki (University of Kanazawa, Japan) to develop site-specific organelle fluorescent thermometers. Recognized for their importance, the study results were recently published in Materials Today Bio.

Detecting intracellular temperature changes that are closely linked to cellular processes can provide clues to understanding the complex function of organelles. However, studying micro-temperature fluctuations in various organelles requires site-specific organelle thermometers. An earlier version of the fluorescent thermometer only worked for one or two types of organelles.

To overcome this limitation, the joint research team developed a new series of fluorescent thermometers (Thermo Greens, TG) that visualize temperature variations in virtually all types of organelles, including the cell membrane, nucleus, l Golgi apparatus, endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, lipid droplets and lysosome. Moreover, the TGs displayed quantitative images of heat generation at different organelles such as mitochondria or endoplasmic reticulum in brown adipocytes, which are essential for maintaining body temperature even in the dead of winter.

TGs are recognized as the first batch of small fluorescent molecular thermometer palettes that can cover almost all typical organelles. These findings could spur the development of new fluorescent thermometers and improve future understanding of thermal biology. Furthermore, these findings can be used to develop new fluorescent thermometers and promote better understanding of thermal biology in the future.

This study was supported by IBS, Japan Science and Technology Agency and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. The researchers filed a patent with the research results, jointly owned by POSTECH, IBS and Kanazawa University.

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