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Combination of cDNA expression library and Whatman protein microarray technology facilitates analysis of autoimmune diseases
Category: Autoantigen Biomarkers | 10/03/2006 - 16:41:11
Whatman plc, a global leader in separations and protein array technology, today announced that the combination of two promising technologies, Whatman/Schleicher & Schuell FAST® Slides and the Protagen AG UNIclone human protein expression library, has enabled the discovery of novel autoantigens associated with the autoimmune disease alopecia areata. The promising results of the study, published in Molecular and Cellular Proteomics 4:1382-1390 and available online at http://www.mcponline.org, suggest that these two resources, used in tandem, will help scientists better understand the causes of various autoimmune diseases. Ultimately, innovations in this area will lead to significant advances in patient diagnosis and treatment.
Advances in protein array technology are allowing scientists to target specific genes from the tens of thousands discovered in 2003 by the Human Genome Project. The success of Protagen AG and Ruhr University Bochum teams in their analysis of alopecia areata suggests that the combination of cDNA expression libraries and protein microarrays will lead to increased understanding of many other autoimmune diseases, including diabetes mellitus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriasis.
"In our autoimmune study, we found that the Whatman/Schleicher & Schuell's FAST® Slides were the best microarray surface to use in our UNIchip® AV-400 products," said Christoph Huels, CEO of Protagen AG. "This combined product, designed to reduce the time and costs associated with antibody development, is an ideal example of the protein array technology that is facilitating industry research and discovery."
Afflicting between five and seven percent of the world's population, autoimmune diseases arise from a person's overactive immune response to substances and tissues normally present in the body. Because the diseases affect multiple body systems, their symptoms are often misleading. As such, autoimmune diseases remain among the most poorly understood and poorly recognized illnesses.
"We expect that the combination of cDNA expression libraries and protein microarray technology will facilitate the autoantigen profiling of many other autoimmune diseases, leading to advanced diagnostics based on microarray technology," added Martin Tricarico, Vice President of Business Development of Whatman. "In such a scenario, a doctor could use standardized autoimmune disease arrays to diagnose and treat patients more quickly. These potential benefits make this an exciting time for both proteomics and autoimmune research."