Based on a unique technology developed by A*STAR Singapore, these inventive and easy-to-use kits are versatile, effective and quick in the screening for modulators of protein-DNA interactions, as well as quality control (QC) analysis of transcription factor production.
Conventional techniques for the analysis of protein-DNA interactions tend to pose numerous restrictions and drawbacks upon their users in terms of assay time, expense and throughput. Some methods can involve extensive protocol optimization and materials preparation, with tedious procedures lasting as long as 2 days. Others necessitate tagging of the DNA with radioactive isotopes prior to running the test, which can result in safety and environmental issues. Label-free assays for academia or industry have typically involved hardware and software costs, which limit their utility for primary drug screening.
In comparison, users will find ColoQuik™ assays much easier to use. These tests require only a half-hour to complete on average, and allow for instant visual detection of reagent colour changes based on the quality and affinity of binding between a protein and a specified DNA sequence. The test does not require radioactive or fluorescent labeling of DNA which leads to significant time and cost savings on preparatory work. ColoQuik™ tests require only standard equipment such as microplate absorbance readers for semi-quantitative readouts. As such, these kits are amenable to high-throughput drug discovery applications and batch functional analysis of transcription factor production.
The key technology in the kits is the custom-made, nanometer-sized metal particles created at A*STAR’s IMRE. The particles act as probes which give off different colours depending on the specific protein-DNA combinations that are formed in the nanoparticle solution. “These kits offer the easiest and fastest ways to date for scientists to analyse a particular DNA binding protein for its impact on the gene transcription mechanism of specific diseases,” said Dr Su Xiaodi, the IMRE Senior Scientist who led the nanoparticle work.The Biofactory has received beneficial technology assessments from leading scientists who have utilized the technology for their specific experiments. The Biofactory is in the process of manufacturing and marketing the kits to research institutions and pharmaceutical laboratories both in Singapore and around the world.
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