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Promega, SwitchGear Collaborate on DNA-Protein Interactions

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Promega and SwitchGear Genomics said today that they have been collaborating on the development of a new method for characterizing DNA-protein interactions.

The method, which combines Promega's HaloCHIP DNA-protein complex capture technology and SwitchGear's high-throughput promoter assays, is detailed in a research article published last month in BMC Genomics online.

Promega's HaloCHIP technology uses expressed HaloTag fusion proteins crosslinked to DNA and immobilized on a special surface to capture intracellular protein-DNA complexes without using antibodies.

Meantime, SwitchGear, based in Menlo Park, Calif., offers a collection of sequence-verified and transfection-ready luciferase reporter constructs for more than 17,000 human promoters.

SwitchGear licensed Madison, Wis.-based Promega's luciferase reporter technology in 2007, an agreement that was a launching pad for further technology collaborations, Brian McKelligon, vice president of sales and marketing at SwitchGear, said this week. However, the companies do not have a formal product-development or co-marketing agreement in place regarding the new application.

According to the companies, combining HaloCHIP with the promoter assays enables discovery of genome-wide DNA binding sites for transcription factors and the functional activities of the promoter sequences bound by those transcription factors.

"This comprehensive approach enables the comparison between binding events and transcriptional activity," Nathan Trinklein, co-founder and CEO of SwitchGear, said in a statement. "Characterizing the functional consequences of binding events is essential to more fully understanding the control of gene expression."

Danette Hartzell, a senior research scientist at Promega, added that "this antibody-free method for revealing DNA binding events in combination with functional reporter assays can significantly advance gene regulation studies."

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