High-throughput screening for proteins is now possible, according to report in this month's Nature Biotechnology. Researchers in England have designed an array, similar to DNA microarrays, that can screen for more than 18,000 proteins at once.
DNA microarrays, which reveal which genes are being expressed, and at what levels at a given time, have been invaluable in the search for functional relationships between different genes. However, they offer few clues about what occurs after gene translation: for example what type of processing occurs and what the final concentrations of proteins are. To help address these questions, Ruud de Wildt, Ian Tomlinson, and colleagues have developed antibody arrays with 18,342 live bacterial cells, each expressing a different antibody. The method includes double-spotting each antibody and comparing duplicates, thereby eliminating false positives and cross-reactive antibodies. De Wildt says that it should be possible to distinguish high- and low-affinity antibodies, and that the approach will be especially useful in comparing proteins in different tissues (e.g., normal vs. diseased cells).—Hakon Heimer
(See also related News and Views in the same issue.)
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