The SIMPL assay. Prey proteins are fused to the intein C-terminus (IC) and bait proteins are fused to the intein N-terminus (IN). Interactions result in a protein fusion event.

In a new publication that was published in Nature Communications, the Stagljar lab describe a new technique, called Split Intein-Mediated Protein Ligation (SIMPL), where two test proteins are fused to two halves of intein, a protein that promotes “protein splicing”. When the two test proteins interact, the intein protein activates a splicing reaction, resulting in the fusion of the two test proteins. This technique can help to detect transient interactions that only occur in living samples. It will be extremely helpful in systems that are hard to analyze by conventional biochemical techniques.

This finding was featured in the UofT News site.