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Institute for Systems Biology, Agilent Technologies to Build MRM Atlas for Quantification of All Human Proteins

Published: Monday, October 26, 2009
Last Updated: Monday, October 26, 2009
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The project is expected to fuel important research gains in biomarker discovery and validation, personalized medicine, and human health monitoring.

The Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) and Agilent Technologies Inc. has announced a collaboration to create the Human Multiple Reaction Monitoring (MRM) Atlas, a comprehensive resource designed to enable scientists to perform quantitative analysis of all human proteins.

The project is expected to fuel important research gains in biomarker discovery and validation, the search for protein-based diagnostic tests, personalized medicine, and human health monitoring.

The program is supported by grants totaling $4.6 million to ISB’s Robert Moritz and Leroy Hood for developing the “Complete Human Peptide and MRM Atlas” by the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health, under “The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – Grant Opportunities.” Ruedi Aebersold of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich is collaborating as well, with additional funding from the European Research Council.

The work, occurring over two years, will be performed using Agilent triple quadrupole and quadrupole time-of-flight liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) systems and nanoflow HPLC-Chip/MS systems at ISB in Seattle and at ETH Zurich.

“We believe this will be a revolutionary development in protein analysis,” said Rob Moritz, ISB faculty member and director of Proteomics, “one that will accelerate and catalyze the routine use of protein quantitation for immensely important breakthroughs in the understanding, early detection and monitoring of human disease.”

“Agilent is pleased to share leadership in creating the Human MRM Atlas and MRM-based methods to support quantitative protein research,” said Ken Miller, Agilent director of LC/MS marketing. “The combination of our triple quadrupole instrumentation, software tools specific for protein analysis, and unique HPLC-Chip/MS technologies creates a stable, sensitive platform for the analysis of these large sample sets.”

The MRM Atlas is designed to enable scientists to quantitatively access the approximately 20,000 proteins in human tissues, cell lines and blood, potentially transforming many areas of human health research. The project will produce a database of up to four peptides per human protein-coding gene, with verified MRM-based mass spectrometric assays to enable the identification and quantification of almost any protein in the human proteome. It is expected to benefit general biology research and large-scale proteomic studies.

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