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Biocius and BlueSky to Develop Sirtuin Enzymes Validated Using Label-Free Assays

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Biocius Life Sciences and BlueSky Biotech this week announced a collaboration to provide sirtuin enzyme preparations that have been fully validated via a label-free functional assay.

The collaboration, which builds on an existing partnership between the two companies, has the potential to improve the drug discovery efficiency of SIRT epigenetic modulating enzymes — which have been implicated in processes such as insulin signaling, apoptosis, and cancer — the companies said in a statement.

Under the arrangement, the two firms intend to launch a panel of sirtuins and histone deacetylases, using proteins produced by BlueSky and validated by Biocius's label-free screening assays. SIRT1 will be the first release with additional validated enzymes coming in future months.

The collaboration could potentially benefit from recent controversy regarding certain fluorescent-based SIRT1 assays, William LaMarr, Biocius's vice president of research and contract services, told ProteoMonitor.

In particular, recent studies published by Amgen and Pfizer suggested that past research showing that SIRT1 is activated by resveratrol and SRT1720 were actually picking up not SIRT1 activity but rather activation of the fluorophore-tagged peptides used in the assay.

"The concept of running bare peptides on sirtuins has gained a lot of notoriety recently due to the literature on this apparent discrepancy using fluorophore-labeled peptides," Lamarr said. "So this is the perfect marriage with our technology in that we are capable of taking the enzyme that [BlueSky has] prepared and doing label-free screening."

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