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Invitrogen Releases First High-Density Protein Array

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A year after the launch of the first whole-human-genome microarray for gene-expression experiments, Invitrogen has hit the market with the first high-density human protein microarray for identifying protein-protein interactions.

The ProtoArray Human Protein Microarray contains more than 1,800 human proteins from the kinase, membrane-associated, cell-signaling and metabolic protein classes.

According to Ben Hwang, senior director of global commercial operations in the Invitrogen Branford/Protein Array Center, the human ProtoArray is the first chip to contain full-length, sequence-verified probes. The kinases on the chip are the exception, however, because they are represented on the chip only by their active domains, Hwang explains.

The chip utilizes Invitrogen’s ProtoP5 expression and purification technology, and according to Hwang, about 90 percent of the proteins on the array should retain their conformation and biological activity.

The proteins are derived almost entirely from the firm’s Ultimate ORF Clone Collection, and include labeling and detection technologies from its Molecular Probes group and array development capabilities from ProtoMetrix, which Invitrogen acquired in April.

The chip costs roughly $1,200 — significantly higher than the average price of whole-human-genome chips that are sold for gene-expression applications at a typical cost of $500 to $750. But most of the fluorescent scanners, including those sold by Axon, Tecan, and Perkin-Elmer, can read the chip, according to Piazza. He notes, however, that the Affymetrix scanner, which is specifically designed for Affy chips, and scanners that illuminate from the bottom won’t work with the ProtoArray.

—Ed Winnick

 

PATENT WATCH

 

US Patent No. 6,811,973. Methods of using labeled probe molecules to quantify target molecules. Inventor: Norbert Reich. Assignee: The Regents of the University of California. Issued: November 2, 2004.

The patent describes an assay system that uses labeled probe molecules to identify and quantify target molecules in a sample. Labeled probe molecules are present on a substrate, such as a microarray, and the system can identify multiple different target molecules simultaneously. Alternatively, a known number of like probe molecules may be present on a substrate and a single target molecule may be quantified in a sample.

 

US Patent No. 6,816,867. System, method, and user interfaces for mining of genomic data. Inventors: Luis Jevons, Timothy Awad, Conrad Sheppy, Nicole Ellis. Assignee: Affymetrix. Issued: November 9, 2004.

The data mining tool described in the patent includes a data structure populator that stores one or more first sets of data selected for querying into a first data structure. The tool also has a query builder that constructs its first query at least partly on one or more query parameters. Also included in the tool is a query manager that interrogates the first data structure with the first query. One or more first sets of data are based, at least in part, on experiments using both synthesized probe arrays and spotted probe arrays.

 

Datapoint

32%

Nanogen’s net loss grew by 32 percent to $9.4 million, or $0.28 per share, for the third quarter of 2004, compared to a net loss of $7.1 million, or $0.33 per share, for the third quarter last year.

 

Eurogentec will use SuperArray Bioscience’s DNA microarray platform for product development. Under the terms of the deal, Eurogentec may purchase cDNA microarray and accessory kit inventory from SuperArray under a regionally exclusive OEM agreement.

GE Healthcare accredits GenUs BioSystems to provide gene-expression services using the conglomerate’s CodeLink platform. GenUs will use CodeLink for both gene expression and “DNA-based” experiments, according to GenUs.

EcoArray will develop a fish array to help the US Environmental Protection Agency perform environmental testing, the Alachua, Fla.-based company says. Under a CRADA with the EPA, EcoArray will collaborate with EPA researchers in Ohio and Minnesota to design a gene chip for the fathead minnow, which the EPA uses to test the quality of freshwater.

A coalition of scientists from Asian countries is organizing the HUGO Pacific Pan-Asian SNP Initiative, which will examine 50,000 SNPs in each study participant using Affymetrix technology, focusing in particular on genetic differences that affect health.

NIST will spend $6.25 million to develop an initiative known as the Metrology for Gene Expression Program aimed at identifying and addressing challenges in gene-expression measurement, validation, and quality control over the next five years.

 

 

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