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Charles River Proteomic Services, CEM, Gilson, Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics, European Bioinformatics Institutes, Protein Data Bank Japan

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Charles River Proteomic Services of Worcester, Mass. and CEM of Matthews, NC announced this week the co-development of a new method they call microwave-enhanced protein identification — based on CEM’s microwave technology — that significantly accelerates enzymatic protein digestions for proteomics analysis by peptide mass fingerprinting, according to the two companies.

The method uses controllable, programmable, focused microwave energy to accelerate the rate of the digestion reactions while maintaining function of the enzyme, limiting the introduction of artifacts, and reducing the number of missed cleavages, according to the companies.

The method can be used both for in-gel digestions and free solution digestions. Data showing results from use of the platform will be presented by the companies at the Keystone Symposium for Mass Spectrometry in Systems Biology to be held in Santa Fe, NM, in February 2004.

“Over the next year, we will bring to market new platforms designed to maximize the benefits of microwave technology formatted specifically for [drug discovery],” Michael Collins, CEO of CEM, said in a statement.


Gilson this week introduced its MALDILC System for the performance of nano, capillary, and micro HPLC with fraction collection directly to MALDI plates for MALDI-TOF analysis.

The system features simplification of tryptic digests for more readable mass spectra and on-line matrix addition with mixing and is compatible with most MALDI target formats, according to the company.


The Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics, the Macromolecular Structure Database at the European Bioinformatics Institutes, and the Protein Data Bank Japan announced this week in the December issue of Nature Structural Biology the establishment of the Worldwide Protein Data Bank. The agreement solidifies existing partnerships and officially expands the existing Protein Data Bank across the world.

The PDB is a commonly used archive of 3-dimensional protein models that currently contains more than 23,000 structures and has been maintained up until now by the RCSB members, which include Rutgers University; the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego; and the Center for Advanced Research in Biotechnology of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

The three new signatories will be equal partners in managing the data bank, and each will maintain sites through which new protein data may be deposited and processed. The processed data will be forwarded to the RCSB and entered into a data bank archive by the RCSB. The RCSB will have sole direct access to the database and will independently maintain control over its directory structure and its contents.

“ The agreement ensures and simplifies access to this important source of information for researchers worldwide,” said Helen Berman, director of the PDB.

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