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UPDATE: APBiotech and Cambridge To Unravel Drosophila, Arabidopsis Proteomes

This story has been updated from a previous version.

NEW YORK, Dec 14 – Amersham Pharmacia Biotech announced Thursday that it has signed a proteomics technology agreement with Cambridge University to study the proteomes of both Drosophila and Arabidopsis thaliana on an industrial scale.

APBiotech spokesman Richard Oakley called the deal a “technology validation agreement” that would provide the university with APBiotech’s proteomics instrumentation, chemistry and software. In turn, APBiotech will benefit from the experience of researchers using its early-stage large-scale proteomics technology.  

Further terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Paul DuPree, lecturer in the Cambridge University Department of Biochemistry, told GenomeWeb that APBiotech’s technology appealed to the university because it would provide quantitative and sensitive detection of protein levels in samples as well as accurate detection of changes in protein levels in response to environmental conditions or individual mutations of genes.

Commenting on the significance of yesterday’s announcement of the sequencing of the Arabidopsis genome, DuPree said, “It’s essential to have the complete genome sequence in order to carry on proteomics.”

The university plans to leverage its large-scale proteomics capabilities to provide experimental evidence of the functions of particular genes.

Cambridge will gain access to APBiotech’s fluorescence 2D differential imaging gel electrophoresis method, which allows researchers to run three different samples on the same gel. The method enables direct comparison of multiple protein samples on single 2D gels, facilitating differential analysis studies.

According to the company, the capability of direct comparison significantly increases throughput and increases the accuracy of spotting disease-related proteins.

DuPree said that 2D-DIGE is also more sensitive than currently available technologies.

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