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Fluidigm TOPAZ® System Instrumental in Solving Asf1 Structure

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Fluidigm Corporation has announced that the Fluidigm TOPAZ® system has played a major role in the structure determination of Anti-Silencing Function 1 (Asf1) with histones H3/H4.

Asf1 is a highly conserved chaperone of histones H3/H4 that assembles or disassembles chromatin during transcription, replication, and repair.

Understanding the interaction between these proteins can help scientists learn to control and correct the chromosomal defects that can lead to cancer and genetic disease.

The research, published in the November 3, 2006 issue of Cell, was conducted at the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center.

The paper, entitled "Structural Basis for the Histone Chaperone Activity of Asf1," is representative of the ongoing success research groups achieve using the TOPAZ system.

"The TOPAZ system allowed us to identify crystallization conditions we were not able to achieve through years of vapor diffusion trials and allowed us to go from a small amount of sample to having data in about a week," states Mair Churchill, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center.

"In addition, the scale-up from TOPAZ crystallization conditions to vapor diffusion was extremely efficient, requiring only 16 conditions to be set."

Researchers used TOPAZ screening chips to identify conditions using a small volume construct of the three-protein complex.

The most promising conditions were scaled-up using vapor diffusion and standard TOPAZ translation protocols, resulting in 1.7 angstrom resolution of the protein crystal.

Company claims that, the TOPAZ system is unique in its usage of integrated fluidic circuits (IFCs) comprised of a network of channels and valves that enable crystallization study via the free interface diffusion technique.

TOPAZ screening chips are capable of running up to 768 experiments in parallel with as little as 10 nanoliters of protein per condition.