Centralized access to key biological reagents, such as plasmid clones, promises to accelerate science and our understanding of biology. The more these resources are openly shared, the more they will drive research. In the course of protein structural studies, the Protein Structure Initiative (PSI) has produced thousands of useful protein expression clones that they plan to share with the community through a proposed PSI-Materials Repository. The Harvard Institute of Proteomics (HIP) has more than five years of experience in the production, sequence verification, and use of plasmids, including genome scale collections for biodefense related organisms and thousands of human genes. Ongoing work at HIP includes highthroughput (HT) cDNA over-expression and shRNA knock-down assays in mammalian cells, overexpression assays in yeast, HT protein purification, and the production and use of protein microarrays. Thus, we understand deeply the needs of clone users, because using clones is central to our research. From its beginning, HIP has always shared the clones it has produced without restriction and we have created a sophisticated infrastructure to store, maintain, and distribute clones worldwide. More recently, we have begun sharing this infrastructure with other labs who would like to distribute their clones through us. HIP has been an innovator in this area, establishing fully automated SOPs for clone production and management that include routine barcode checks by robots, invention of a novel automated HT colony picking approach, development of low cost and high quality HT DMA miniprep chemistries, and development of enterprise class software that manages clone data from production and sequence validation to maintenance and distribution. Together with ThermoElectron, HIP has helped to develop and now owns a first-of-its-kind fully automated -80?C clone storage system that tracks 160,000 individual tubes with specialized 2D barcodes, which promises to revolutionize the storage and distribution of biomaterials. The existence of this solid infrastructure for clone distribution, coupled with Harvard's stability as an institution, offer an ideal opportunity to incorporate the clones from the PSI sites. We propose to create a unique user-friendly PSI-specific web portal for users to examine, query and order the PSI clones. This portal will focus on the unique user needs related to the PSI clone set. The proposal builds on our currently successful simplified MTA process, and our carefully developed mechanisms to ensure accurate clone tracking, reliable clone viability and robust back up procedures. Lay Abstract: We propose to use software development and an automated physical storage device to create a reposity of DMA moleucles that scientists can use to study many proteins and their roles in disease. This repository will be available to anyone doing academic research and will dramatically speed discovery.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Research Project--Cooperative Agreements (U01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZGM1-CBB-5 (MR))
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Preusch, Peter C
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Arizona State University-Tempe Campus
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United States
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Cormier, Catherine Y; Park, Jin G; Fiacco, Michael et al. (2011) PSI:Biology-materials repository: a biologist's resource for protein expression plasmids. J Struct Funct Genomics 12:55-62