The goal of this shared resource is to provide investigators with cost effective state-of-the-art instrumentation, and specialized expertise for analysis of proteomes with the goal of identifying novel protein biomarkers with applications for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Because of the extremely diverse nature of proteins through post-translation modifications (PTMs), secretion, and RNA splicing coupled with their wide dynamic range of expression, no single platform exists for differential analysis of global protein expression. This Shared Resource therefore combines and integrates the instrumentation and expertise of several different faculty co-directors under a single organizational unit directed by Dr. Dean P. Edwards. Through a combined investment by the Institution and the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center of $1.7M in equipment, start-up salary for new staff and operational support, the Proteomics Shared Resource (PSR) has expanded its technological capabilities and services and has grown tremendously to become one of the heaviest utilized Resources of the Cancer Center. The PSR is currently staffed by four co-directors (Drs Jun Qin, Richard Cook, Shixia Huang, Eastwood Leung) and six highly trained technical staff. New technologies and services developed since the CCSG submission in 2006 include non-mass spectrometry-based protein profiling platforms such as the Luminex fluorescence bead system, two dimensional liquid and gel electrophoresis and antibody/peptide arrays;mass spectrometry identification and PTM analysis of endogenous protein complexes isolated from cells, quantitative mass spectrometry protein profiling by SILAC (stable isotope labeling with heavy amino acids in cells) and enhanced throughput production of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). These new technologies and services, together with the previously established technologies of protein chemistry, MALDI-TOF identification and PTM analysis of proteins, baculovirus expression of recombinant proteins and conventional hybridoma/MAb production, have created a highly comprehensive Proteomic Shared Resource capable of facilitating both protein biomarker discovery research and translational validation studies through custom antibody production. We will continue to expand and meet the needs of the Cancer Center through shared instrument grant applications and by providing expertise and new leading edge proteomic technologies as the field rapidly evolves.
In the post-genomic era the importance of detecting system-wide changes in protein expression, and in particular post-translational modifications that alter function independent of protein concentration, is paramount for advancing our understanding of cancer biology. This Shared Resource provides cancer center investigators with a broad range of inter-related proteomic platforms to use as biomarker discovery and validation tools in pre-clinical mouse models of cancer and in patient tumor samples.
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