Details Matter – Researchers should consider exploring different platforms for ligand-receptor identification to tackle limitations encountered when detecting extracellular interactions
(Dr Maria P Pavlou and Dr Paul Helbling at Dualsystems Biotech)
The transition from uni- to multicellular organisms was marked by an increase in the complexity of cell surface proteins that allowed intercellular communication and stable cell adhesion (1). The surfaceome (the collection of proteins residing at the cell surface) acts as the interface between a cell and its environment, mediating crucial cellular behaviours such as cell-cell communication, self and non-self recognition, and cell signalling. Additionally, the surfaceome largely dictates the shape, polarity, differentiation, and motility of cells. Given the crucial role of surface-associated proteins in every aspect of cellular life, they are, unsurprisingly, the molecular targets for roughly 70% of FDA approved drugs (2).