Proteomics and Mass Spectrometry
Proteomics is a term generally applied to the comprehensive identification and characterisation of all the proteins in a biological system - organelle, cell, tissue, and whole organism. The Proteomics Facility is an integral part of the Institute's activities, complimenting the research programmes of the chemistry and pharmacology groups. The facility, which comprises mass spectrometry, bioinformatics, nano HPLC, conventional chromatography and preparative electrophoresis capabilities, has 3 main objectives:
- Identification of new protein targets for drug development
- Functional and biochemical characterisation of established targets to assist refinement of next generation drug candidates
- Systems biology (pharmacoproteomics) of drugs tested in cell lines, preclinical models and Phase I clinical trials
Hypothesis-driven drug design to inhibit or utilise the activity of known protein targets is a key direction for the Institute. Hence, the Proteomics Facility explores new techniques and strategies, such as affinity capture for enrichment of specific subgroups of proteins and methods for increasing sequence coverage for improved protein characterisation including post-translational modifications. Quantitative proteomic applications are used in model cancer systems to identify new targets for drug development. Additional strategies, such as improving MS/MS methods for peptide sequencing and drug localisation by imaging mass spectrometry, are also part of the Facility's cutting edge activities.