This equipment grant is requesting funds for the purchase of a Biacore T200 surface plasmon resonance (SPR) instrument for the determination of ligand affinity, on-rates, and off-rates by a group of very productive NIH-funded researchers in medicinal chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, and biophysics, pharmacology, laboratory medicine and pathology, surgery, chemistry, microbiology, and chemical engineering and materials science at the University of Minnesota. These investigators conduct NIH-funded research in diverse areas of inquiry, including the design and synthesis of small molecules for potential drug targets, the utilization of small molecule ligands to study biological processes associated with various diseases, protein-protein interactions involved in receptor signaling, antibody discovery, and drug resistance. Their research addresses such diverse areas as male contraceptives, tuberculosis, liver disease, cancer, virology, and anti-infectious agents. Presently, there is a single SPR instrument at the University of Minnesota, a Biacore 2000, an obsolete instrument which will not be supported by the manufacturer after February, 2016. SPR plays a crucial role in the study of small molecule probe and drug discovery, protein-protein interactions, antibody optimization, and virology. The Institute of Therapeutics and Drug Discovery (ITDD) in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry will maintain the instrument and provide user training.
The surface plasmon resonance instrument will allow researchers at the University of Minnesota to directly determine the potency of antibodies and small molecule ligands (i.e.,drugs) for receptors, and to measure protein-protein interactions. This instrument will directly impact research in diverse therapeutic areas, including male contraception, tuberculosis, liver disease, and cancer, as well as basic biology research.