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Yale Researchers Engineer a Phosphoprotein

Published: Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Last Updated: Wednesday, September 28, 2011
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Synthetic biology-based approach successfully re-engineers protein-making mechanisms in bacteria; documented in paper published in the journal Science.

Researchers at Yale University have used AB SCIEX's QTRAP® technology to prove the validity of a new approach to synthesise phosphoproteins. This breakthrough approach for re-engineering the protein-making mechanisms in bacteria is expected to revolutionise the study of a wide variety of diseases. The details were published in the August 26th issue of the journal Science.  
    
The project was to expand the genetic code of E.coli by synthesizing phosphoproteins that can emulate natural or diseased states. For this, the Yale researchers needed the ability to build a custom assay to identify a single phosphopeptide in a complex mixture and required analytical capabilities that accurately detect and confirm protein identification and sequencing. Using the AB SCIEX QTRAP 5500 System the researchers were able to get significantly more quantitative information to verify the approach; streamline their workflow by combining qualitative and quantitative analyses; and validate Yale’s advancement in synthetic biology.
 
“This breakthrough provides another order of magnitude of being able to understand biological processes and access new paths to drug discovery using mass spectrometry,” said Jesse Rinehart, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Cellular & Molecular Physiology and Systems Biology Institute, Yale University.  “Assisting us in our research, the AB SCIEX QTRAP 5500 System consistently delivers superior performance and high sensitivity to help improve phosphoproteomics.  The QTRAP system is in an elite class.”
 
The team of Yale researchers plans to build a large series of MRM (multiple reaction monitoring) methods using the QTRAP 5500 System as a one-stop validation system for each phosphoprotein synthesis.
 
Yale’s advancement in synthetic biology represents a new way to influence the behaviour of proteins, essentially turning these basic building blocks of biological functions on and off. Next, the researchers plan to create proteins known to be linked to cancer, type II diabetes and hypertension.
 
“We equip scientists with powerful analytical tools that are game-changers in how science can be conducted,” said Rainer Blair, President of AB SCIEX.  “To be able to synthesize real biology is an incredible achievement by Dr. Dieter Soll and Dr. Jesse Rinehart, along with their team at Yale.  The fact that they standardized on our technology shows the power of QTRAP technology.  We strive to evolve mass spectrometry technology to answer more difficult biological questions and continuously demonstrate why we are a trusted partner with scientists.”


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